April 2014 Match Previews


Ana Ivanovic can be backed when a break down against Svetlana Kuznetsova today...

We head to Stuttgart for today's Match of the Day with Ana Ivanovic taking on Svetlana Kuznetsova...

TennisRatings Match of the Day:-

WTA Stuttgart Quarter Finals:-
17:30 GMT
Ana Ivanovic vs Svetlana Kuznetsova:-

12 Month Surface W/L      11-4          10-4
12 Month Surface Hold %      70.7          70.3
12 Month Surface Break %     44.6          35.2
Pre-Match Projected Hold %     80.1          70.3
Loses Break Lead %     43.0          50.0
Recovers Break Deficit %     61.4          47.4
Combined Score when Break Up     90.4        111.4
Current Price1.453.08

As can be seen from the above stats, Ivanovic is the superior clay courter with a very marginal edge in service holds, and a significant advantage in opponent break percentage.  

This gives her a 9.8% projected hold advantage, and with her also leading the historical head to head count 8-4, means her market price of 1.45 is almost identical to my model's 1.42.  Overnight she was a touch of value at 1.50.

Projected holds - on a fast clay court in Stuttgart - are high and Ivanovic's is very high indeed for the WTA.  The women's clay mean hold is 61.4% so her 80.1% is in the stratosphere.  On that basis, and with a fairly high break point 'clutch' score, according to the TennisRatings daily spreadsheets, backing Ivanovic in-game when losing on serve at points illustrated in the TennisRatings Trading Handbook can be considered.

Also just about viable is laying Kuznetsova when a break up.  With her projected hold being high, this appeals less and I wouldn't go overboard on the stakes for this trade, but a combined score of 111.4 when she is a break up is more than enough to lay the player a break up in the WTA, being well over the required 105 and the tour average of 99.13.

On a day (and week) where trading angles are not plentiful this match provides several angles to get involved in the market, which is something that cannot be said for a huge amount of matches this week.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Robin Haase has had huge problems with Mikhail Youzhny over the course of his career...

On a day where trading value is thin on the ground, today's Match of the Day comes from Bucharest and shows how a dominant head to head lead in favour of the higher ranked player affects the market price...

TennisRatings Match of the Day:-

ATP Bucharest Round of 16:-
15:00 GMT
Robin Haase vs Mikhail Youzhny:-

12 Month Surface W/L 16-14     12-8
12 Month Surface Hold %   79.1     75.2
12 Month Surface Break %  22.4     25.5
Pre-Match Projected Hold %  77.1     76.3
Loses Break Lead %  37.3     31.7
Recovers Break Deficit %  32.2     41.0
Combined Score when Break Up  78.3     64.0
Current Price2.421.66

As we can see from the above stats, the two players are very evenly matched indeed on clay. 

Youzhny starts as a 1.66 favourite which looks wrong based on the stats, but it's worth mentioning here that he's won all five previous encounters between the two players, dropping just one set out of 12.  This makes the market prices much more realistic, and pretty fair.

Haase has a 3.9% advantage in service holds, with Youzhny a 3.1% opponent break lead.  These give projected holds a shade over the ATP clay mean percentage, so clearly laying either player on serve is not a generally viable strategy, and there are very few Rolling Projected hold triggers which make this worthwhile either.  This could well be a game where Rolling Projected holds fluctuate to a level which makes Youzhny more likely to hold, due to game state.

In a day where trading options are few and far between, what is worth doing is opposing Haase when a break up.  His notoriously fragile mentality means his break lead loss percentage is above the ATP mean, and Youzhny also is strong at recovering deficits.  This is the best trading angle for this match, and in all likelihood the only option.

There isn't a great deal of other angles on the later matches today with projected holds mid-high, and combined scores generally low as well.  

It's very important to be selective and when there are days like today, just picking and choosing a few high EV spots is a much better approach than getting involved when you have little or no edge.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Marinko Matosevic has atrocious clay court stats and should be opposed if he leads Tommy Robredo...

Apologies for no updates over the Easter period, normal service is now resumed and as well as previewing today's Match of the Day, I wanted to write a little about conditions this week...

TennisRatings Match of the Day:-

ATP Barcelona Round of 32:-
14:00 GMT
Tommy Robredo vs Marinko Matosevic:-

12 Month Surface W/L    27-11          3-7
12 Month Surface Hold %      79.9        60.9
12 Month Surface Break %     28.9        28.7
Pre-Match Projected Hold %     75.2        56.0
Loses Break Lead %     27.8        37.2
Recovers Break Deficit %     45.1        35.3
Combined Score when Break Up     63.1        82.3
Current Price1.147.20

Firstly I want to make the point that this is probably Match of the Day number two today - the first was one I didn't get a chance to preview.  That was the match between Klara Koukalova and Sara Errani, and if there was a match where breaks and swings were almost guaranteed, that was it...

However here we have a clear case of a player, who admittedly is a heavy underdog, that it is very high expectation to oppose if the game state makes it possible.

As we can see from the above stats, Matosevic's serve, which isn't a great weapon at the best of times, really struggles on clay and a 12 month surface hold of 60.9% from the ten matches he played on the dirt last season is very poor indeed. 

His opponent break percentage is strong though, but that's not so important here with Robredo's projected hold around the ATP mean.  

On that basis, laying Matosevic's serve on serve when the price allows is a very strong plan.  

Where we may get more chances to oppose the journeyman Australian is when he leads by a break.  Both his percentage for losing break leads, and Robredo's break deficit recovery percentage are both above average and this leads to a combined score of 82.3 when Matosevic leads by a break - well above the required 75 in the ATP.

Laying Matosevic a break up is also a strong move.  It would probably take him to be a set & break up, or a break up around the mid-point of the third set to be odds on, but this would be a very good position to take. 

There are four events in total this week and conditions are somewhat contrasting between the four.  Stuttgart traditionally plays very fast, so opportunities to oppose the server will be much more restricted.  All of Barcelona, Bucharest and Marrakech have stats from last year that indicate conditions are a touch on the slow side, so opportunities will be far more plentiful in those three venues.

Play has been interrupted in Bucharest with Victor Hanescu at home, due to take on Dudi Sela.  The Israeli shows little aptitude on clay.  Sela can be opposed on serve at a lower price than SP, and when a break up here with a low projected hold and combined score.

In WTA action, in Marrakech, projected holds are both low in the match between Chanelle Scheepers and Estrella Cabeza-Candela with Scheepers the 1.37 favourite.  

That would be very short in normal circumstances with Scheepers edging two low projected holds but ECC retired last time out and her fitness is very questionable.  

This is a great match to illustrate the power of Rolling Projected Holds with them indicating that Scheepers can only be laid in specific circumstances based on game state, despite having a projected hold of over 7% below the WTA mean.  We can oppose Cabeza-Candela much more liberally, and also when a break up.

I also feel there will be breaks and swings in the match between Urszula Radwanska and Lara Arruabarena, and traders may be fairly unaware of Beatriz Garcia-Vidagany but her clay stats from qualifiers aren't horrific.  They also show her to be a player with great trading potential, with a weak serve and strong return game.  She takes on the Italian veteran Francesca Schiavone today, with Schiavone on a bad run currently but surely grateful to get back on her favoured clay.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


It will be a huge surprise if Rafael Nadal is not able to put David Ferrer's serve under consistent pressure today...

The first match in Monte Carlo between Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic is just getting underway, and today's TennisRatings Match of the Day is second on court in Monaco.  I look at a match where a weak serving top 10 player is likely to have his weakness exposed again today...

TennisRatings Match of the Day:-

ATP Monte Carlo Quarter Final:-
11:00 GMT
Rafael Nadal vs David Ferrer:-

12 Month Surface W/L   33-1  22-6
12 Month Surface Hold %   85.2  77.4
12 Month Surface Break %  40.4  38.9
Pre-Match Projected Hold %  64.8  55.5
Loses Break Lead %  21.3  35.0
Recovers Break Deficit %  52.8  48.1
Combined Score when Break Up  69.4  87.8
Current Price1.128.15

It's clear to see from the above table who the better player is, and that will be of little surprise to any regular tennis fans, let alone bettors and traders.  

Nadal, favourite at 1.12, has won 22 of the 29 head to head meetings and until Ferrer took 2 of the last 3 (although one was in an exhibition), the lower ranked Spaniard was referred to as Nadal's 'bunny'.  Nadal has still managed 8 head to head wins since 2012.

It's Nadal with both the higher surface hold, and opponent break percentages.  This gives him a higher projected hold for the clash, also unsurprisingly.  These projected holds are well below the 75.3% ATP clay mean and illustrate just how good these players are on the return.

Looking at their meetings in 2013, the stats bear these projected holds out well.  In 6 meetings in 2013, there were 48 breaks in 134 service games (average hold of just 64.18%) and on a slow clay court, this is likely to be further exacerbated today.

Laying either player's serve when the match is on serve should work well in almost all circumstances according to the Rolling Projected Holds in today's Tier Two daily spreadsheet, although clearly with starting prices so much in favour of one player, it's only viable to take this approach with the higher projected hold of Nadal initially.

However should we get into a situation where Ferrer takes the first set and the second set is on serve, or the final set is on serve, this should enable Ferrer's price to be short enough to make this more viable on him.

Where the main value opposing Ferrer is today is when he is a break up.  With his break lead loss % being above the ATP top 100 mean at 34.97% - he is the only top 10 player to suffer this ignominy - and Nadal's break deficit recovery being in the elite category (over 50%) at 52.83%, the combined score on Ferrer is very high indeed at 87.8.  Laying him a break up here will be a trade with high positive expectation.

Only Novak Djokovic has beaten Nadal on clay in the last year - ironically at the final of this event - so if Nadal wins Monte Carlo this week, he will have completed 12 months unbeaten on the surface.  I wouldn't expect this to change today, although I do feel there will be trading opportunities along the way...

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Grigor Dimitrov could have his work cut out holding serve consistently against David Ferrer today...

Matches in Monte Carlo got started around an hour ago and today's TennisRatings Match of the Day again comes from Monte Carlo, and looks at a match where breaks of serve are likely, but break backs aren't...

TennisRatings Match of the Day:-

ATP Monte Carlo Round of 16:-
13:00 GMT
Grigor Dimitrov vs David Ferrer:-

12 Month Surface W/L       13-6  21-6
12 Month Surface Hold %       80.8  77.4
12 Month Surface Break %       27.3  38.4
Pre-Match Projected Hold %      60.9  68.6
Loses Break Lead %      22.2  35.0
Recovers Break Deficit %      33.9  48.1
Combined Score when Break Up      70.3  68.9
Current Price3.331.39

This match was selected as Match of the Day today due to the low projected holds of both players.

We can see from the above stats that Dimitrov - mainly down to Ferrer's elite level 38.4% surface breaks of opponents in the last 12 months - is likely to struggle to hold consistently, with a projected hold of 14.9% below the ATP mean.

On that basis it seems very viable that we can lay him when the match is on serve, and the price is viable.  With starting prices about right - my model made Ferrer 1.35 - we can take the same course of action on Ferrer, when the Rolling Projected Hold triggers in today's Tier Two Spreadsheet make that statistically recommended.

Interestingly, despite both players having low projected holds for this, combined scores are not conducive to laying either player a break up, with both scores below the crucial 75 mark for the ATP.  This is largely due to Dimitrov being pretty solid when a break up, losing this lead just 22.2% in the last 12 months, and also the Bulgarian has a poor (for his ranking) deficit recovery percentage of 33.9%.  This is pretty much bang on the ATP top 100 mean and shows that he has some work to do to improve this if he is to reach his much-hyped potential.

Effectively what the stats indicate is that there should be breaks in this, but there isn't enough confidence that they won't mainly be in one direction.

This will be a big test for Dimitrov.  Stats actually make clay his best surface but against a superb opponent, it will be interesting to see where his game is at right now.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Gilles Simon's match with Teymuraz Gabashvili is today's TennisRatings Match of the Day...

Kuala Lumpur started for the early risers at 5am UK time, and as yesterday, the weather has put a hold on proceedings.  Monte Carlo's ATP event gets underway shortly, and is televised on Sky Sports.  As yesterday, the TennisRatings Match of the Day comes from Monte Carlo, and looks at a match where there should be some value, as well as some swings...

TennisRatings Match of the Day:-

ATP Monte Carlo Round of 56:-
09:30 GMT
Teymuraz Gabashvili vs Gilles Simon:-

12 Month Surface W/L *           4-8   10-7
12 Month Surface Hold % *         69.4   70.9
12 Month Surface Break % *         17.3   30.9
Pre-Match Projected Hold %         57.0   72.1
Loses Break Lead %         46.7   40.8
Recovers Break Deficit %         25.0   38.2
Combined Score when Break Up         84.9   65.8
Current Price2.811.51
* Gabashvili's stats are 3 year stats, due to lack of surface sample size

First of all I want to make it clear that I feel Simon is value at 1.51 and the market is under-rating his chances against a mediocre player, due to a perceived lack of form.  A first round defeat against Delbonis in Casablanca is nothing to be ashamed of - the Argentine is a real prospect on the dirt.

My model made him 1.28 for this, with the Frenchman enjoying a large projected hold advantage, as well as his stats being much better on break points.  In a match where break point chances are likely to be numerous, he should be able to make inroads in the Georgian's serve.

As you will be able to see, these projected hold percentages are below the ATP clay mean of 75.8%.  The slow conditions in Monte Carlo are part of the reason for that, but it can also be seen that both players are weak on serve on average anyway with surface holds around the 70% mark, with Simon having a much better return game, breaking opponents 30.9% in the last 12 months.

Laying Gabashvili's serve to start the match seems a solid plan, and the Rolling Projected Holds in today's Tier Two Spreadsheet indicate that his serve can be laid in ALL circumstances when the match is on serve, as long as his price isn't too big.

Furthermore, opposing Gabashvili when a break up also appeals.  He's lost a break lead 46.7% in the last 12 months, which is around 13% above the ATP mean.  With Simon recovering a break deficit around 5% more than average, a combined score of 84.9 is generated on Gabashvili, and this is above the required 75 for laying a player a break up in the ATP.

Whilst Simon's stats when a break up are also poor, Gabashvili's break deficit recovery percentage isn't nearly good enough to consider opposing Simon there.

Overall, I do feel that being on Simon in this scenario is an approach that will yield long-term dividends.

Another match worth assessing is Andreas Seppi's clash with the Russian, Mikhail Youzhny.  Youzhny has had a torrid 2014 so far with illness and injury curtailing most of his ambitions.  He missed both the March Masters with a back injury and this is his first match since then.

Youzhny opened at 1.77 for this and that's a price that would have been right should he have been fit, but his price has plummeted to 2.04 now and at one point he had drifted to around 2.23.  

Projected holds are low for this and using the Rolling Projected Hold triggers for this match is the way forward.  There will be lots of opportunities to oppose the server when the match is on serve.

It's also very viable to lay Seppi when a break up, but this is very dependent on whether Youzhny looks competitive.  If he appears to be fit, it's definitely an approach that the stats recommend.

Seppi has lost a break lead a huge 47.7% and with Youzhny recovering a deficit 41.0% the combined score of 88.7 on Seppi when a break up is even bigger than that of Gabashvili's in the earlier preview...

Finally I feel that Ivan Dodig is the value pick at around 2.40 against the over-rated Spaniard, Pablo Carreno-Busta.

The Croat scored four underdog wins on clay last season including victories over Marin Cilic and Alexandr Dolgopolov, and appears under-rated on the surface.  

He should have been favourite anyway against Carreno-Busta, who the market is in absolute love with right now, regardless of the fact that Carreno-Busta will be tired, having now played 14 sets in a week, as well as travelling from Casablanca to Monte Carlo.  

Certainly a qualifying defeat against Evgeny Donksoy - a very limited player indeed - cannot be overlooked, although without seeing that match, it's difficult to make an assessment as to whether PCB tanked knowing that he had a lucky loser spot already.

Carreno-Busta's projected hold for this is low and I feel that as a false favourite, taking on his serve is very viable here.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Tommy Robredo should have some joy on the David Goffin serve today...

Today's WTA matches start soon in Kuala Lumpur, with Monte Carlo's ATP event getting underway in a few hours.  TennisRatings Match of the Day comes from Monte Carlo, and looks at how one player in particular should struggle to hold serve...

TennisRatings Match of the Day:-

ATP Monte Carlo:-
14:00 GMT
Tommy Robredo vs David Goffin:-

12 Month Surface W/L       25-10    2-7
12 Month Surface Hold %         79.6   65.2
12 Month Surface Break %         28.5   26.1
Pre-Match Projected Hold %            72   55.2
Loses Break Lead %         27.8   50.0
Recovers Break Deficit %         45.1   36.4
Combined Score when Break Up         64.2   95.1
Current Price1.363.54

As you will be able to see from the above stats, Robredo edges every category for today's match-up.  After several indifferent results, the Spanish veteran starts at a generous-looking 1.36 for this.

He has a far superior surface win/loss record, and furthermore in those matches in the last year, has held and broken more.  This gives him a much better projected hold for today's clash, at just below the ATP mean.  

At this point it's worth noting that statistics from last year's event in Monte Carlo showed that conditions were very slow, with service holds 5.7% below the ATP mean.  On that basis it can be assumed that this event will make for excellent trading conditions this year, with plenty of breaks and swings for traders.

Clearly that's likely on the Goffin serve here, based on the stats and we can also see that the Belgian has an atrocious record at defending break leads, losing them 50.0% in the last 12 months.  With Robredo being able to recover a break loss 45.1% to get the set back on serve, it is apparent that the stats favour opposing Goffin a break up with a combined score well in excess of the 75 required in the ATP - in fact he is the only player that the break-back stats in today's Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet recommend opposing when a break up.

The Rolling Projected Holds in today's Tier Two Spreadsheet show laying Goffin's serve is very viable in all circumstances assuming price is viable, and also as mentioned in the previous paragraph, so is doing so a break up.  Those are very strong trading plans for today's match.

With regards to laying a player a break up, there's a noticeable absence of other decent trading matches today as mentioned.  

However, my model does expect there to be breaks in the Benoit Paire vs Albert Montanes, Joao Sousa vs Fabio Fognini and Albert Ramos vs Jarkko Nieminen but there just isn't enough confidence that the matches won't be one way traffic when a break lead is established.

There are just three matches scheduled in the women's tournament in Malaysia and in the last couple of years, service holds have been very high indeed here.  There could be solid avenues for selectively backing players losing at certain scores in-game on serve there this week.

It's a very low quality event with the 8th seed ranked 112 in the world, but that's not necessarily important for traders, as long as there are meaningful stats available on the lower-profile players.

One match that has caught my eye is the clash between Ayumi Morita and Lyudmila Kichenok with the Ukrainian youngster available at 3.00 currently with Stan James (looks like someone was sleeping there - as usual), and around 2.50 elsewhere.  

Morita has retired four times in her last 17 matches, last time out and twice in her last five.  That for me, makes her a false favourite at 1.61 against a young player who has a strong record on hard court in WTA qualifiers, which make up the majority of her stats sample.

Getting on Kichenok in some way, shape or form looks to make sense.  Projected holds are both high but Kichenok has a superb break point 'clutch' score.  Backing her when losing on serve at points recommended in the TennisRatings Trading Handbook looks a good plan.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Benoit Paire rejoined the ATP Tour after a 3-month injury layoff yesterday...

Today's matches kick off shortly in Katowice and Casablanca, with Bogota and Houston starting later this afternoon as previously this week.  Today's TennisRatings Match of the Day comes from Casablanca, and feature a player who traders will have welcomed back to the ATP Tour yesterday...

TennisRatings Match of the Day:-

ATP Casablanca:-
15:00 GMT
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez vs Benoit Paire:-

12 Month Surface W/L       15-12   14-9
12 Month Surface Hold %         71.5   75.9
12 Month Surface Break %         27.3   26.8
Pre-Match Projected Hold %         66.7   70.6
Loses Break Lead %         42.3   43.4
Recovers Break Deficit %         39.0   40.7
Combined Score when Break Up         83.0   82.4
Current Price2.001.94

No doubt swing traders will have rejoiced when Benoit Paire was confirmed as playing this week in Casablanca.  The charismatic Frenchman - who has been injured since January - can make Tennis look ridiculously easily or the biggest mental stress in the world and his stats do the assertion that he is one of the best ATP players to trade justice.

Today he is marginal favourite against the journeyman Spaniard, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, which looks a generous price if he is fully fit.  Certainly a decent win over Albert Montanes yesterday should give Paire confidence.

As you will be able to see from the table above, Paire edges the win/loss records, and has a better surface hold and projected hold in this match-up.  The only area where GGL has a very marginal edge is in breaking opponents, and that's very slight.

The table also indicates that both players are well above the ATP average of 33.42% for losing break leads and recovering break deficits, and that the combined score for either player is over the 75 as detailed in the ATP break-back percentages article.

What does this all mean?  With Paire's projected hold almost exactly the same as the ATP clay mean of 75.8%, the Frenchman's serve cannot be opposed using many of the Rolling Projected Hold triggers in today's Tier Two Spreadsheet.  However, with a lower projected hold, Garcia-Lopez's serve can be opposed selectively.

Where this match comes into it's own is the ability - with combined scores high - to lay either player a break up.  This trade will definitely have high positive long-term expectation.

In other ATP matches today, I feel there will be breaks in the match between Marcel Granollers and Pablo Carreno-Busta - laying Granollers a break up makes statistical sense here - whilst Santiago Giraldo's match in Houston with the improving Alejandro Gonzalez also has potential in this way.  Laying Gonzalez a break up looks to be a good strategy, based on the stats.

In the WTA one of the best matches for trading is the one just started in Katowice between Alize Cornet and Klara Koukalova.  Cornet is currently 2-0 up at the time of writing, and the stats support laying either player a break up, or their serve on serve in pretty much all circumstances.

This is also the case in the match between Chanelle Scheepers and Lourdes Dominguez Lino.  The Spaniard starts at around 1.90 for this and I feel she could be a false favourite here.

Projected holds are very low for this clash with Scheepers having the edge, and laying the server when the match is on serve is recommended, based on the stats.   However, both players are below average for recovering break deficits (indicating that they often lose sets without much resistance) and therefore laying either player a break up cannot be recommended.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Paula Ormaechea's match with Lara Arruabarrena looks like it could have swings...

Matches get underway shortly in Katowice and Casablanca, with Bogota and Houston starting later this afternoon.  Today's TennisRatings Match of the Day comes from Columbia, with two players who favour clay looking likely to conjure up plenty of breaks of serve.

TennisRatings Match of the Day:-

WTA Bogota:-
20:00 GMT
Lara Arruabarrena vs Paula Ormaechea:-

12 Month Surface W/L              1-3           5-3
12 Month Surface Hold %            43.8          64.6
12 Month Surface Break %            39.4          44.3
Pre-Match Projected Hold %            48.4          59.6
Loses Break Lead %            72.7          68.6
Recovers Break Deficit %            45.5          54.4
Combined Score when Break Up           127.1        114.0
Current Price2.331.70

The first thing that is apparent from the stats is that both players - particularly Arruabarrena - do not have big clay court surface samples in the last 12 months.  However, when delving back a bit further, in the last 18 months Arruabarena is 8-4 and Ormaechea is 12-5.  

In those slightly longer-term stats, Arruabarena holds 64.7% and Ormaechea's clay hold is 64.8%, so there's not much in it at all on those stats.  They break similar amounts too, with Arruabarrena breaking opponents 46.0% and Ormaechea 42.6%.

These stats indicate the match could well be closer than the 12 months stats suggest, but taking both time periods into account, I feel there is probably some marginal value on Ormaechea based on my projected hold model.

As we can see, projected holds are low for both players, particularly Arruabarena.  Laying her serve, when the match is on serve, is viable in almost all circumstances, according to the Rolling Projected Holds in today's Tier Two Trading Spreadsheet.

The break lead/deficit stats have much bigger samples, as they are taken across all surfaces, and both are significantly higher than the 48.60% top 100 break lead loss mean.

With break lead loss stats so high, these players can be laid when a break up against most WTA players and Arruabarena's combined score of 127.1 is very high indeed - certainly opposing her in particular a break up has a large statistical long-term edge.

Clearly there are a number of viable trading avenues here and I feel that this match offers excellent swing trading opportunities.

A match where there might well be some low-risk opportunities for laying the favourite a break up is the clash between Romina Oprandi and Irina Begu.  Begu, who has been in superb form in ITF events of late, starts favourite at 1.45 and this seems very short, although perhaps the market knows more of Oprandi's fitness than I do.

Projected holds are both low and I like laying Begu on serve when possible, and also when a break up.  She's lost a break lead a huge 72.7% in the last 12 months, and with Oprandi being solid at recovering deficits, at 47.1% recovery, the combined score of 119.8 on Begu when a break up is easily large enough to warrant opposing the Romanian in this scenario.

In ATP action, the player I am desperate to oppose a break up is Donald Young in Houston.  The American has an atrocious 2-11 ATP record on clay and I feel he is short at 3.75 against the favourite, the clay-loving Juan Monaco.

Although Young's clay sample is small, I made Monaco 1.18 for this although the Argentine doesn't have a great record as favourite.  He certainly doesn't get things done in straight sets nearly enough for his starting prices.

Where the stats have the huge value is Young's very low projected hold, which today would embarrass a WTA player.  When on serve and the price is viable, his serve can be opposed in ALL circumstances here.

As I mentioned the other day, Young - as well as his countryman Michael Russell (who takes on Nicolas Almagro in the night match in Houston) are huge chokers, witnessed by the fact they hold serve around 5% less in late games of the set than overall.  That's definitely worth taking into account as well.

Young loses a break lead a very high 50.8% in the last 12 months, and coupled with Monaco's impressive 52.9% deficit recovery (this puts him in the top 5 in the ATP) means that the combined score on Young a break up is 103.7 - well above the required 75 in the ATP!

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow! 


Klara Koukalova is still the Klara Zakopalova we know and love...

Action starts in around an hour in Katowice and Casablanca today and there is no doubt whatsoever about today's TennisRatings Match of the Day:-

TennisRatings Match of the Day:-

WTA Katowice:-
13:00 GMT
Annika Beck vs Klara Koukalova:-

12 Month Surface W/L *  15-15      18-15
12 Month Surface Hold % *    49.7        56.7
12 Month Surface Break % *    45.8        47.7
Pre-Match Projected Hold %    38.5        47.4
Loses Break Lead %    60.6        57.5
Recovers Break Deficit %    54.3        58.9
Combined Score when Break Up  119.5      111.8
Current Price2.031.90

* Surfaces used for stats are combined hard/indoor hard.

We can see from the stats above that this match has excellent swing trading opportunities.

With surface holds much below the WTA mean of 63.2% for hard/indoor hard, and surface breaks much bigger than the mean of 36.8%, it is clear we can expect many breaks of serve in this match.

Rolling Projected Holds show that it is viable in almost every circumstance to lay the either player's serve when the match is on serve in this, and the break-back combined score stats show that either player's combined score is well above the 105 required in the WTA, as detailed in the WTA break-back percentages article.

Based on the pre-match projected holds, it is clear that the value is on Zakopalova - she has held and broken more in the last 12 months - but with projected holds at such a low level, her serve can also be opposed when possible.  

This should be an excellent match to trade and I feel could be very swingy indeed...

In the ATP today, I like some of the opportunities that statistics provide in the match between Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Mikhail Kukushkin first up at 11am UK time in Casablanca.

Actually I feel Kukushkin offers some value at around 2.90 but it remains to be seen how tired he will be from 7 sets in the Davis Cup at the weekend.  Certainly, with a decent 12-7 record with especially impressive 38.4% breaks of opponent's serves, he is no mug on the dirt and could cause GGL a few problems today.

Projected holds are low and close, and as with Beck vs Zakopalova, offer a great deal of triggers to lay either player's serve using the Rolling Projected Holds in today's Tier Two Spreadsheet.

Not only this, both players are very poor indeed at keeping break leads.  Garcia-Lopez has lost this lead 42.3% and Kukushkin 44.4%, both much higher than the overall 32.3% current ATP mean.  Garcia-Lopez has recovered a break deficit 39.0% with Kukushkin higher at an excellent 48.3%.  This means laying either player a break up, especially Garcia-Lopez, especially appeals.

This match offers excellent trading potential as well.

The final match I want to assess today is in Houston where Juan Monaco takes on Somdev Devvarman.

Projected holds indicate a clear advantage for the Argentinian on his favoured surface, and make his current price of around 1.20 about right.  

Devvarman's projected hold is very low indeed and whilst his SP is too big to want to oppose his serve immediately, should he trade much lower then it will be very viable to lay him on serve.

Furthermore, should Devvarman gain a break lead, it is very viable indeed for him to be opposed.  He's lost a break lead 50.8% in the last year with Monaco getting a break deficit back on serve 55.6%.  This makes a huge combined score of 106.4 on Devvarman which would be high even for the WTA...

I feel Devvarman could well get into a lead here, with Monaco not having a particularly strong projected hold himself - just over the ATP clay mean.  Furthermore, the Argentinian has a very poor break point 'clutch' score, so it's not inconceivable Devvarman could take an early opportunity and get his nose in front at some point.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Sloane Stephens should be able to recover from break deficits against Mariana Duque Marino...

Today's action got underway a few hours ago this morning in Casablanca and Katowice with today's matches in Bogota starting shortly.

Houston starts later this evening.

TennisRatings Match of the Day:-

WTA Bogota:-
18:30 GMT
Mariana Duque Marino vs
Sloane Stephens:-

Duque MarinoStephens
12 Month Surface W/L            1-5        7-6
12 Month Surface Hold %          58.1      66.2
12 Month Surface Break %          32.3      33.8
Pre-Match Projected Hold %          61.9      71.5
Loses Break Lead %         76.92     50.53
Recovers Break Deficit %         57.89     51.95
Combined Score when Break Up       128.87   108.42
Current Price3.551.36

This match was selected as Match of the Day mainly due to the gigantic combined score on Duque Marino when a break up.

Her break lead loss percentage of 76.92% is one of the biggest in the WTA and makes it viable to lay her when a break up against almost every single WTA player.

Stephens' percentage of 51.95% is very marginally above average and is easily enough to push Duque Marino's combined score when a break up over the required 105 mark.

It's also worth noting that the combined score when Stephens is a break up is also over 105, and this could well be a decent low-risk opportunity.

Duque Marino's projected hold is marginally on the low side with Stephens' high.  Furthermore, with a high break point 'clutch' score, the American - who will view this tournament as an ideal opportunity to win her first WTA event - is statistically viable to be backed when losing on serve at points recommended in the TennisRatings Trading Handbook.

There are plenty of trading options in this, based on the stats.

In the rest of today's other WTA matches, sample sizes aren't great with most being played by players that aren't normally on the main tour.

I feel Paula Ormaechea is a good value choice at around 1.65 against Patricia Mayr-Achtleitner in one of the later matches in Columbia based on the projected holds for the match.

Mayr-Achtleitner's is pretty low for this and her break point stats are generally atrocious in the last 12 months.

I feel laying the Austrian's serve when the match is on serve is a good plan, and break-back statistics also indicate that laying her a break up should have long-term positive expectation too.

She's lost a break lead 57.1% and Ormaechea has recovered a deficit 54.4% in the last year.

Actually stats make Ormaechea a viable lay when a break up too (she is very poor when leading by a break) but with the value on her pre-match, I'm not so keen on this option.

In the ATP, two players I want to focus on both have very poor serving stats in late games of the set, according to the ATP Ultimate In-Play Spreadsheet, updated for April.

Both Michael Russell and Donald Young aren't stellar servers at the best of times, holding 68.8% and 66.7% respectively across all surfaces in the last 12 months.

Clay certainly isn't their favourite surface, and Young in particular has a horrific record on it.  He's 0-6 in the last two years, and 1-11 in his career in ATP main draw matches.

Today Young faces Ryan Harrison, who has been backed into 1.59 today and that's still value based on the stats.

Young's projected hold is very low for this and the Rolling Projected Holds in today's Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet show that his serve can be laid in almost all circumstances when the match is on serve today.

Harrison, who came back from the dead in qualifying against Ruben Bemelmans, has a high projected hold and with a high break point clutch score, can be backed - as recommended above with Stephens - when losing on serve.

Young has lost a break lead a shocking 52.9% in the last year, which is actually above even the WTA top 100 mean!  Even with Harrison recovering a deficit just 23.5%, this takes the combined score on Young when a break up over the 75 required in the ATP to make this trade viable.

As previously mentioned, Young has a big problem holding serve at the end of the set.  A crucial time for players to hold their nerve, Young does not thrive in this situation, holding just 60.8% across all surfaces, which is 5.9% below his overall hold percentage. 

Laying Young's serve at the end of sets where viable is mandatory.

That too can be said for his countryman, Russell, who takes on the Spanish clay-courter Daniel Gimeno-Traver.  

DGT starts favourite at around 1.40 and this looks about right, despite there not being a huge difference in projected holds.

One of the reasons for this is due to a huge break point discrepancy with Russell generally being very poor in these key situations.

Furthermore, Russell - similarly to Young - is terrible at protecting a break lead.  The veteran loses this lead a whopping 56.7% in the last year and this makes it viable to lay him against the vast majority of the ATP when a break up.

Actually the stats also recommend laying Gimeno-Traver as well when a break up, although the numbers are more convincing on Russell.

As mentioned above, Russell is very poor at holding serve in late games of the set, holding just 63.5% in the last 12 months across all surfaces, 5.3% below his all surface average.

Considering the overall ATP all surface mean is 78.3%, this shows just how bad he is in this scenario...

Laying Russell late in sets will also have high positive expectation in the vast majority of situations, be they today or in the future.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow...


Lourdes Dominguez Lino's match with Teliana Pereira should be excellent to trade...

It's a new week, and there are four tournaments this week, two in each of the ATP and WTA.

WTA action gets started earliest with five matches in Katowice - on a new indoor hard surface.  This replaces last years indoor clay surface and without any statistical evidence, it is impossible to assess how this new surface will play prior to the event.

In what will be almost 24 hour tennis action, play starts at 16:30 UK time in the other women's event in Bogota

Stats show that last time this event was played, service holds were 0.8% below WTA average, so this won't make a huge difference on projected holds this week.

It's in Columbia where today's Match of the Day - a new addition to the site from today - takes place:-

      TennisRatings Match of the Day:-

16:30 GMT
 Teliana Pereira vs 
Lourdes Dominguez Lino

The Stats:-

PereiraDominguez Lino
12 Month Surface W/L      6-6           16-11
12 Month Surface Hold    58.8             55.2
12 Month Surface Break    37.5             43.5
Pre-Match Projected Hold    52.9             55.3
Loses Break Lead  60.87           61.02
Recovers Break Deficit  63.33           47.17
Combined Score when Break Up 108.04         124.35
Current Price1.852.10

This match has a very high likelihood of having excellent trading potential.

As we can see from the above table, it's Pereira that starts as a marginal favourite at 1.85 and this for me is wrong.  I feel that the prices should be the other way around and the pre-match projected holds illustrate this.

The market is in favour of Pereira due to the double bagel thrashing of Lino by Petkovic last week, but let's face facts - Petkovic had an incredible week and it's also worth pointing out that a return to a slower surface than Charleston will benefit Lino.

With a low projected hold and also being a false favourite, it seems very viable indeed to oppose Pereira's serve when the match is on serve, and also when a break up.

A combined score of 108.04 on the Brazilian when a break up is over the 105 threshold for the WTA for this type of trade.

However, with an excellent break-back percentage, Pereira pushes the combined score when Lino is a break up to 124.35 - this is very high indeed and despite pre-match value being on Lino, this is easily enough to warrant laying the Spaniard when a break up as well.

There are plenty of trading options for this, and with live streaming available, was an easy candidate for today's Match of the Day.

Katowice's events start soon and there are several matches where projected holds are low, and I'll skim over these quite concisely.

I have planned to write an article on Annika Beck for a while as she is the biggest statistical anomaly in the WTA, and she takes on Mona Barthel, who is the typical WTA hero or zero type player.

Beck starts at 1.50 against her fellow German, who retired last time out against Rebecca Peterson, so Barthel's physical condition is guesswork.

If she's fit, this price is very short on Beck, but based on what we know, the price seems relatively fair.

As previously mentioned, projected holds (unsurprisingly for a Beck match) are very low, and also statistics recommend laying Barthel when a break up in this.

Alexandra Cadantu had a strong run here on indoor clay last year and is defending semi-final points.  Motivation is pretty much a given for this limited player regardless of any ranking point defence but her ability isn't at a high level, and she takes on Yanina Wickmayer today.

The Belgian, who hasn't shown a high degree of consistency in recent times, seems short at 1.33 and it wouldn't surprise me at all if she traded a fair bit higher in this.

Projected holds are a little on the low side but it's not statistically worthwhile to lay either player a break up with break-backs occuring around 7% less than average in Wickmayer's matches.

In the ATP, conditions in Casablanca were on the slow side last year and Joao Sousa's match with Igor Sijsling has projected holds below the ATP mean.

The Portuguese (currently a 1.45 favourite) is an example of a player being too short because of a perceived liking for clay but actually his indoor hard stats are better than on the dirt.

However Sijsling has atrocious break point stats showing he lacks belief and mental strength in key points, and also recent results (5 defeats in his last 6, including 4 as favourite) won't help the Dutchman's confidence.

I feel laying either player's serve when the match is on serve is justifiable, but on the Sousa serve I'd recommend hedging for profit at scores like 0-40 or 15-40 based on Sijsling's lack of clutchness...

Finally in Houston, conditions were on the fast side last year and projected holds are very high indeed for the clash between Jack Sock and Ivo Karlovic.

Karlovic didn't get an ATP win on clay last season although perhaps that's a little unfair as he wasn't fully fit during that stage of the season.

However, the big-serving Croat has won a mere 3 of 15 on clay since he beat John Isner in the quarter finals of this event in 2011 and considering he was favourite in 8 of those 15 matches, he has a lot to prove.

Sock, who unusually didn't need the benefit of a wild card to enter this week, has much better break point stats and I feel backing him on serve when losing, at points statistically illustrated in the TennisRatings Trading Handbook, will work well here.

Interestingly, with combined scores of below 40 on both players when a break up (Karlovic has recovered a break deficit just 5.88% in the last year), break backs should be very unlikely here and this should be a very tight match indeed.

All statistics quoted in today's match previews can be seen in today's Tier Two Daily Spreadsheets, available at £50 for 30 days, or £125 for 3 months.

To get your copy, please use the above link or the links on the right-hand side of the page.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Jovana Jaksic's match with Kimiko Date-Krumm could be very swingy...

It's semi-finals day in Charleston and Monterrey and it would be very fair to say that the names involved might not have been tipped by many at the start of the week to be here at this stage...

The opener in Charleston pits two players with contrasting routes throughout the tournament - Andrea Petkovic has been highly impressive in breezing past her opponents, on the most part, whilst Eugenie Bouchard has needed to show superb fighting qualities to get past Venus Williams and Jelena Jankovic, in particular.

After a market move, Bouchard is into 1.85 with Petkovic currently 2.14, reversing the opening lines.  Actually I made those market lines about right, so I feel the value is now on the German as a slight underdog - although it's worth noting that she doesn't have the best record as a slight underdog.

Projected holds are around the WTA clay mean with Petkovic having the edge.  

With combined scores just shy of the required 105 in the WTA, laying either player a break up cannot be considered either, so this may well be a match best watched.  

I would love to know the pre-tournament odds on Jana Cepelova and Belinda Bencic taking on each other in the second semi-final and both youngsters can look forward to a decent rise up the rankings after this week.

Interestingly, despite a now decent win/loss record on clay after her run this week, Cepelova's stats are still nothing out of the ordinary, and probably around top 50 level.  It's actually Bencic whose stats - from a smaller sample - are more impressive.

Cepelova's projected hold is low and she gives up a break lead 58.1% in the last year - which is high.  These would both indicate that opposing her serve in some way, shape or form is viable, although I don't have in-play stats on Bencic.

Cepelova managed a routine win over Daniela Hantuchova yesterday, but her match against Elena Vesnina was very swingy in the previous round.  I feel this is something we can expect from her a lot in the future.

In Monterrey, I feel Jovana Jaksic is slight value at 2.44 against Kimiko Date-Krumm, although the Japanese veteran appears to make a point of beating the young, up and coming players on tour.

Projected holds are a little on the low side, with Date-Krumm having the slight edge.  This looks like being a match where assessing the game state, via the Rolling Projected Holds in today's Tier Two Spreadsheet, is crucial.  

If these two players get broken early, this could turn into a bit of a break-fest.  

I don't have in-play stats on Jaksic but as mentioned on other previews, Date-Krumm is atrocious at holding onto a break lead, losing it 69.8% in the last year, which ranks her one of the worst on the WTA tour for this metric.

Finally, it's the neutrals match of the day for the night owls with Ana Ivanovic taking on Caroline Wozniacki.

Wozniacki starts slight favourite which I can't argue with too much, although she's perhaps a little short at 1.76.

She does edge two projected holds which are very marginally above the WTA hard court mean, and she does also have a very slight edge in break point stats.

Both players are strong at recovering break deficits (Wozniacki 56.4%, Ivanovic 61.4%) but solid at defending a break lead (Wozniacki has lost one just 40.4%, Ivanovic 43.0%) so it's tough to recommend laying either player a break up today.

Perhaps another match best watched, sadly.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


The latest stats on Teliana Pereira show that the Brazilian has excellent trading potential...

There are twelve matches on the schedule today with eight on the quick clay in Charleston and a further four on hard court in Monterrey.

In Mexico, I don't have many stats on Julia Boserup and Allie Kiick but what I do have shows that Boserup is the value selection at just over evens.  

However the sample is small but what it does show is that both players - particularly Kiick - are stronger on return than serve.

On that basis, projected holds are low and I like the idea of laying Kiick's serve in particular in this.

Nicole Gibbs is another one with a weak serve and this could be punished by Monica Puig who starts at around 1.40 for their clash.

The Puerto Rican may even be a touch of value at that price and I can see Gibbs struggling to hold consistently.

According to the Rolling Projected Holds in today's Tier Two Spreadsheet, opposing her serve is viable in most circumstances today.

Over in Charleston, it will be interesting to see how Shuai Peng fares against Sara Errani.

Peng was 6-1 5-1 up over Madison Keys yesterday but eventually needed a final set tiebreaker to come through that clash, and against the clay-loving Italian, who has recently lost her top 10 place, she is the underdog at around 2.80.

That seems about right to me but the stats show that opposing Peng's serve on serve is viable in certain circumstances, based on the Rolling Projected Holds.

Despite Errani being very strong at recovering break deficits (60.2% in the last 12 months), Peng is very solid at defending a break lead (making yesterday's capitulation somewhat unusual - especially against a non-spectacular returner) losing a break lead just 38.5% in the same time period.

On that basis, laying Peng a break up isn't statistically viable.

Finally I'm intrigued about the match between Daniela Hantuchova and Teliana Pereira (above, pictured).

Projected holds are close and high, mainly due to Hantuchova's strong serve and weak return stats on clay in the last year.

However what caught my attention is that despite these high projected holds, both ladies have combined scores over the required 105 in the WTA - mainly due to Pereira's tendencies.

The Brazilian has lost a break lead to go back on serve 60.9% and recovered a break deficit 63.3% in the last year, and this means that she is an excellent player to swing trade.

With starting prices about right, making Hantuchova favourite at around 1.55, laying either player a break up appeals in this.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Kimiko Date-Krumm's match with Timea Babos has potential to be good to trade...

Matches started several hours ago in Charleston and it was good to see today's two TennisRatings Tips recommendations get early success, as Svitolina and Cetkovska both took the first set to cover the +1.5 set handicap.

As all week, trading conditions in America aren't perfect in theory with the quick conditions leading to fairly high projected holds, although that hasn't stopped the break-back trades being successful, with 33 winners from 53 trades being achieved (62.26%).  This is 12.70% above the top 100 break-back percentage for the WTA and illustrates the edge that these statistics - available daily in the Tier Two Daily Spreadsheets - give to traders.

Several matches yesterday were trading epics, with Vania King and Su-Wei Hsieh both recommended to lose break leads against Julia Glushko and Shuai Zhang respectively.

King lost a break lead 5/7 times, and Hsieh 5/6...

Only heavy underdogs Kiki Bertens (against Sara Errani) and Lourdes Dominguez Lino (versus Andrea Petkovic) have low projected holds, and both also have very high combined break-back percentages when a break up in-play.

Both are around the 120 mark - well above the 105 required in the WTA to perform this trade - with Errani and Petkovic both recovering break deficits around the 60% mark, which is very high for the WTA.

Taking on Bertens' and Lino's serve on serve when the price allows, and the longer-term trade of laying them a break up, with a view to greening up in some way if and when the break-back occurs, looks good to me.

In Monterrey, the match with the best potential for trading is Kimiko Date Krumm against Timea Babos, with the top half of the draw opening up in a ridiculous way after the exits of Pennetta, Flipkens and Knapp.

Date Krumm starts at around 1.50 which is almost identical to my model, and the Japanese veteran's projected hold is a little on the low side, but she edges these with Babos' lower.

Laying Babos' serve when on serve can be considered in some circumstances, according to the Rolling Projected Holds in today's Tier Two Spreadsheet.

Date Krumm is one of the worst players in the WTA for losing a break lead, doing so an incredible 69.8%.  For a low-ranked player, Babos is actually fairly decent at break deficit recovery at 51.5% and this results in Date Krumm's combined score being 121.3 when a break up.

Babos' is also high at 112.1, so a lay of either player a break up can be considered.

The other match I want to discuss in Mexico is one with small samples of stats, but Luksika Kumkhum's clash with Jovana Jaksic has low projected holds, and on that basis selected lays on serve of either player using Rolling Projected Holds can be considered.

The Thai qualifier starts at 1.67 which may well be a touch on the short side, but I don't think there's a huge amount in it.

I don't have in-play stats on either with both ranked outside the top 100 sadly though.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Olga Puchkova's issues winning WTA matches stem from her atrocious serve...

It just the ladies in tournament action this week and this week's tournaments started yesterday and feature action from Monterrey (hard court) and Charleston (clay).

Based on previous service figures, it's reasonable to assume that Monterrey will play a little on the slow side, whilst Charleston's stats indicate that the clay plays quite fast there.

Today's matches in Charleston got going at 3pm and Monterrey starts shortly.

One player that should be good to oppose if she gets in front is Olga Puchkova (above, pictured) in Monterrey as she faces Monica Puig.

Odds of around 1.15 on Puig are about right pre-match and aren't particularly down to how good the Puerto Rican is on a hard court, but more so due to Puchkova, who has an awful 3-14 record in the WTA in the last year.

In those 17 matches, the Russian has held serve a woeful 45.4% and this won't win her many matches, unless she has the return game and fight of Annika Beck.

However, she doesn't, and her return stats of 26.5% breaks don't inspire any confidence whatsoever either.

Puchkova is also shocking when a break up - she has lost a break lead 77.8% in the last 12 months and when factoring in Puig's recovery stat of 51.4%, the combined score is easily enough to crush the 105 required to lay Puchkova a break up.

Laying Puchkova's when a break up, or on serve when the price is viable surely is a move with high positive expectation.

On a day where it's mainly the underdogs in similar situations, the same approach can be taken - also in Mexico - with Urszula Radwanska against Ana Ivanovic.  

Local player Marcela Zacarias has terrible serving stats from the small sample I have on her and she's also a heavy underdog against Aleksandra Wozniak.  Opposing the Mexican should be viable if somehow Wozniak trades a lot higher.

Opportunities are more limited in Charleston because of the court speed, but I feel Lesia Tsurenko and Alla Kudryavtseva should struggle against several 1.30 shots in Andrea Petkovic and Eugenie Bouchard.

Both have very low projected holds and whilst I don't have in-play stats on Kudryavtseva, it's definitely statistically viable to oppose Tsurenko a break up as well.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!




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... thanks in the main to your hard work...
I look forward to taking my tennis trading onto the next level, thanks in the main to your hard work, so keep it up pal and good luck in the markets'
(@DarkDyson - Twitter)