August 2014 Match Previews

8th SEPTEMBER 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS

Kei Nishikori can claim his first Grand Slam title tonight...

Today sees the conclusion of the US Open with the men's final, with two players yet to reach a Slam final competing for the trophy.

The Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet has highlighted several good entry points today if the match goes in a certain direction, and I'll go through that, and some other thoughts in today's previews.  

There are also three WTA tournaments today although both the Hong Kong and Tashkent tournaments have mostly finished play for day one, and were for the early birds, with a 6am UK time start in those.  This week's WTA action is of a pretty low standard, but between those and the Challenger Daily Spreadsheets which now available, there isn't a shortage of action this week, despite the ATP Tour taking a week off for the Davis Cup.


The screenshot above shows today's Szczecin Challenger spreadsheet, and there are four other Challenger events commencing today.

It's also very possible that opportunities may crop up in-play using stats, and in that case, the Chat Room is an excellent place to be.

Nishikori vs Cilic - Not before 10pm UK time:-

Who would have picked these two players to be in the final?  Given that the top ten have dominated ATP Grand Slams for the good part of a decade, to have two players outside the top ten in their first Grand Slam final is something few would have predicted.

This is especially the case given that Nishikori went into the tournament with a toe injury that saw him on crutches several weeks before the event, and with the Japanese player having a notoriously frail body, his run - and particularly his semi-final four set win over Novak Djokovic - was most unexpected.  

Cilic is also interesting to analyse with the Croat having much worse in-play stats since his ban last year, but picking up more consistent results, with a boosted service hold percentage doing him wonders.

Nishikori has the slight edge in the market, trading at 1.88 currently and I think that represents some value, with my model making him 1.70.  He takes a 5-2 head to head lead into the match and has won their last three meetings.  Furthermore, he shades two close projected holds which are a touch below ATP average and has the better break point 'clutch' score.

Also worth bearing in mind is that Nishikori is excellent when a break down - recovering a break deficit 48.2% of the time in the last 12 months.  Cilic is much worse at 23.1%, and both players are relatively solid when a break up, Nishikori losing this lead 21.6% and Cilic 26.1%.  Overall this gives Cilic a combined score of 74.3% when a break up and this - and other factors - mean we can look at opposing him when leading tonight.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Cilic when a set and break up (Exit point - full hedge if Nishikori breaks back, for profit, full hedge if Cilic takes the set, for a loss)

Lay Cilic when two sets and a break up (Exit point - clear liability if Nishikori breaks back, and full hedge if Nishikori takes the 3rd set, for profit, full hedge if Cilic takes the set, for a loss)

Please note that all trades are just recommendations and I can take no liability for any losses incurred.

Good luck in the markets and stay green!


5th SEPTEMBER 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Serena Williams can be backed when losing on serve tonight...

It's semi-finals day in the women's event at the US Open tonight and there are two intriguing clashes on the schedule.

I'd expect the matches to be more serve dominated than a typical WTA match and none of the four players remaining have particularly low projected holds.

The Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet has highlighted a decent spot today if the match goes in a certain direction, and I'll go through that, and some other thoughts in today's previews.  

With the Challenger Daily Spreadsheets now available, those who want to trade 24 hours a day can pretty much do so, with action around the globe in six Challenger tournaments, so if six matches isn't enough for you, there's plenty of opportunities to get involved in some lower level events.

It's also very possible that opportunities may crop up in-play using stats, and in that case, the Chat Room is an excellent place to be.

Wozniacki vs Peng - not before 18:45 UK time:-

Can Caroline Wozniacki finally take her first Grand Slam tournament?  She's been in excellent form of late and starts as a heavy 1.29 favourite against Shuai Peng tonight.  That looks reasonable with my model pricing her at 1.30.

Both ladies have held over 70% on hard court in the last 12 months and that should stand them in good stead for tonight's match, and I wouldn't expect a match where there's many breaks from both sides.  Wozniacki has a clear edge on return which justifies her favourite status, and also boasts a 5-1 historical head to head lead.

As for trading plans, it's a tough one.  Whilst Wozniacki's projected hold is high, her 'clutch' score for break points is mediocre.  That puts me off recommending backing her when losing on serve.

One move I like is backing Wozniacki if she loses the first set.  Peng is around average for winning matches 2-0 and Wozniacki has taken at least one set more often than the mean.

Recommended Trades:-

Back Wozniacki if she loses the first set (clear liability if she leads by a break in the 2nd set, full hedge if she wins the 2nd set)

S Williams vs Makarova - not before 20:45 UK time:-

Serena Williams starts at 1.15 for this and I make her a few ticks of value with my model going 1.12 on the world number one.  

Opponent Makarova has impressed this fortnight but should find herself up against it tonight - although Williams' return stats have notably declined, both in how often she breaks opponents and also how often she recovers break deficits.

On that basis, opposition of the Makarova serve is far less appealing than it would have been this time last year and I'm looking at another angle here - backing Williams, whose projected hold and 'clutch' score are both very high - when losing on serve.  I also like a similar line to Wozniacki and building a position on Williams should she fall behind by a set.

Recommended Trades:-

Back Williams when 0-30 or 15-40 down on serve if her price is over 2.00 (clear liability at 30-30 or 40-40, full hedge either way at end of the service game).

Back Williams if she loses the first set (clear liability if she leads by a break in the 2nd set, full hedge if she wins the 2nd set)

Please note that as always, all suggested trades are just recommendations and all trades are taken at your own risk.


Good luck in the markets and stay green!


2nd SEPTEMBER 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Tonight should be the end of Dominic Thiem's US Open journey...

It's day nine of the US Open and we have the final four round of 16 ATP matches, and the just two in the WTA as the quarter-finals commence.

The Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet has highlighted some decent spots today and I'll go through some of those for today's previews.  With the Challenger Daily Spreadsheets now available, those who want to trade 24 hours a day can pretty much do so, with action around the globe in six Challenger tournaments, so if six matches isn't enough for you, there's plenty of opportunities to get involved in some lower level events.

It's also very possible that opportunities may crop up in-play using stats, and in that case, the Chat Room is an excellent place to be.

Yesterday's one triggered lay position was laying Makarova when a set up over Bouchard.  A pretty unfortunate loss with Bouchard suffering visibly from the heat and also losing in straight sets despite having 10 break points to the Russian's 5 - a bad variance losing trade there, for sure.  As I mentioned several weeks ago, losing with double the amount of break points is very rare indeed...

There's quite a bit of interest tonight in the six main tour matches and I feel that Dominic Thiem will end his tournament tonight against the 6th seed, Tomas Berdych.

Thiem is obviously a player of rich potential and to have over 100% hold/break percentage at 19 marks him out as someone who can reach the absolute top of the sport.  However, I expect Berdych - who starts at around 1.32 - to be too strong tonight for the youngster.

Thiem needs to improve his solidity when a break up, with the Austrian losing a break lead 32.7% in the last 12 months.  Berdych's break deficit stats have declined slightly in August but they're still elite level, and Thiem should struggle to hold onto leads tonight.

With Thiem's projected hold also low, there are a variety of trades that can be considered for this match:-

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Thiem when a set and break up against Berdych (exit point hedge when the break back is obtained, for profit, or at the end of the set, for a loss)

Lay Thiem when 2-0 up in sets against Berdych (exit point - clear liability if Berdych goes a break up in the 3rd set, full hedge at 2-1 in sets, for profit, or for a loss if Thiem wins 3-0)

Lay Thiem when a break up in the final set (exit point hedge when the break back is obtained, for profit, or at the end of the set, for a loss)

Both women's matches look to have some trading potential as well - I feel Shuai Peng is value at around 1.80 against the youngster Belinda Bencic, with my projected holds model giving Peng a high projected hold and Bencic below WTA hard court average.

However, Bencic is reasonable when a break up and Peng not stellar by any means when a break down, so I'm looking at some small stakes service game lays here.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Bencic's serve when a set up and the 2nd set is on serve, if she was broken in the previous service game. (Exit point at the end of the service game).

It's also possible to lay her when 30-0 or 40-15 up in service games, clearing liability or hedging at 30-30 or 40-40.

Finally, whilst I make Caroline Wozniacki's price of 1.25 correct, I feel there might be some avenues to exploit opponent Sara Errani's weaknesses if she gets in front.

Obviously we need Errani to trade lower than her pre-match price first and if she races into a lead like she did against Venus Williams, we could get some chances.

Errani's projected hold is very low, and her weak serve should get exposed against a player who has broken 45.2% in hard court matches in the last 12 months.  Furthermore, with Errani losing a break lead 51.1% in that time period, and Wozniacki recovering a break deficit 54.2%, a combined score of 105.3 on Errani when a break up is more than enough to warrant opposing the Italian when a break up.  Realistically her price will still be quite high if she breaks early in the first set but at other points this trade should be fine.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Errani's serve when a set up and the 2nd set is on serve, if she was broken in the previous service game. (Exit point at the end of the service game).

Lay Errani when a break up in the 1st and 3rd sets as long as her price is under 2.25. (exit point hedge when the break back is obtained, for profit, or at the end of the set, for a loss)

Lay Errani when a double break up (exit point clear liability when the first break back is obtained, full hedge when the set is back on serve, for profit, or at the end of the set, for a loss)

Please note that as always, all suggested trades are just recommendations and all trades are taken at your own risk.


Good luck in the markets and stay green!


1st SEPTEMBER 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Victoria Azarenka should finish Alexsandra Krunic's great US Open run tonight...

We are into the second week of the US Open and we have four round of 16 ATP matches, and the same in the WTA, as the players vie for a quarter final place.

There's isn't a huge amount worth recommending today based on the stats of the Tier Two Daily Spreadsheetand in these situations it's absolutely fine not to get involved with certain matches where the match appears well priced by the market and the stats are around average in all areas.  It's also very possible that opportunities may crop up in-play using stats, and in that case, the Chat Room is an excellent place to be.

Alexsandra Krunic's run has been superb and I highlighted her as a player with potential in my 100-200 ranked WTA players article last month, as she boasted excellent stats in qualifiers.

However, despite beating Petra Kvitova on Saturday, Victoria Azarenka should be a step too far for the bright prospect and the market makes the Belarussian a 1.16 favourite.

This looks to be justified and with Azarenka being a player with a much better return game - she's broken 47.3% in the last 12 months on hard court - than serve, I'm expecting the Krunic serve to be tested today.

I don't have in-play stats on Krunic but using expectation ratios she would have a combined score of 114.1 which is a little higher than Kaia Kanepi today against Serena Williams, and much higher than the 90.4 WTA top 100 mean.

Laying Krunic when a break up seems a viable proposition.  I'm not a huge fan of doing so at odds against but I will if I can get towards evens here at least.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Krunic when a break up against Azarenka in the 1st and 3rd sets as long as the price is under 2.70 (Exit point when she is broken back, for profit, or wins the set, for a loss - equal hedge)

Lay Krunic when a set and break up against Azarenka (Exit point when she is broken back, for profit, or wins the set, for a loss - equal hedge)

The other match I want to highlight is the clash between Ekaterina Makarova and Eugenie Bouchardwith the market pricing these at around evens apiece.

I think that's a touch of value on the much-vaunted Canadian with projected holds being exactly the same (around WTA mean) but Bouchard with the better break point 'clutch' score.

Also, Bouchard shows excellent stats on winning at least one set in a match and going down this road should give us a decent position to trade from if Makarova takes the first set.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Makarova when she takes the first set against Bouchard (Clear liability if Bouchard breaks to lead the second set, full hedge if Bouchard wins the second set)

Please note that as always, all suggested trades are just recommendations and all trades are taken at your own risk.


Good luck in the markets and stay green!

29th AUGUST 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Alexandr Kudryavtsev should struggle to maintain leads against Teymuraz Gabashvili tonight...

Day five of the US Open starts this afternoon, and there are 16 ATP matches, as that tournament plays down to the last 32 tonight, and a further 8 round of 32 WTA matches. 

Here are some of the trades that Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet has highlighted as worthwhile today, based on the starting prices, projected hold, break back percentages, and 'clutch' scores that it contains on a daily basis.

Firstly here is a summary of the recommended trades from Wednesday:-

Marchenko vs Chiudinelli:-

Lay Marchenko when the match is level but he is a break up (Exit point when the break-back comes for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) - 2 winning trades

Great profit for followers from this match...

Hewitt vs Berdych:- No trades triggered.

Peer vs Lucic-Baroni:-

Lay Peer's serve in the 1st set when the set is on serve - 3 losing trades (although one she gave set point so there was profit potential) in the 2nd set when she's a set up and the set is on serve - 1 winning trade (game 1 of set 2) and the 3rd set for smaller stakes when the set is on serve (Exit point - at the end of the service game for profit or loss) - 1 winning trade (game 2 of set 3)

A poor first set but those losses were easily recouped by the bigger profits of set 2 and set 3.  Many people in the Chat Room - access is free for anyone who has ever purchased a TennisRatings product - laid Peer at the start of the 2nd set for a longer-term set duration trade, with many triggers recommending it, and that also worked well...

Now I am going to give my thoughts on a few of today's matches with statistical trading recommendations...

On Wednesday we did superbly identifying two players in a low profile match that should give break leads back, and had low projected holds, in Marchenko/Chiudinelli.  I want to continue on that vein for the opening preview which focuses on one of the later matches tonight, which shows a lot of edges.

Teymuraz Gabashvili was friendless in the market against Santiago Giraldo in the first round and I must admit the 'obviously wrong' price put me off a little, as I wasn't the only one thinking it was too good to be true.  He takes on Alexandr Kudryavtsev in an all-Russian clash tonight, where I don't think I'm also the only one thinking this won't be decided in straight sets...

Gabashvili - with the greater ATP experience - starts at 1.57 and I make that about right, as he edges two low projected holds.  I'd expect there to be a fair few breaks in this, based on the numbers, with both players much better on return than serve.

Also apparent is that Gabashvili isn't great when a break up, losing this lead 39.0% in the last 12 months, and this is around 9% above ATP mean.  I don't have in-play stats on Kudryavtsev, with him plying his trade mainly on the Challenger Tour, but I can estimate an expected figure, and this leads to combined scores of 73.3 on Kudryavtsev, and 70.0 on Gabashvili - both above the 61.68 ATP mean, although I prefer it to be over 71 from my research.  On that basis we can lean towards Kudryavtsev, with the lower projected hold, a little more.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Kudryavtsev when the match is level but he is a break up (Exit point when the break-back comes for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 

Lay Kudryavtsev when a set and break up (Exit points - Clear liability when the break-back comes, full hedge if Gabashvili takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 

Lay Kudryavtsev when 2-0 up in sets (Exit points - Clear liability when the break-back comes, full hedge if Gabashvili takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 

Lay Kudryavtsev when 2 sets and a break up (Exit points - Clear liability when the break-back comes, full hedge if Gabashvili takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 

The other ATP match I wish to focus on is the clash between a volatile player that I think is way too short in the market, against a fairly average player, who is capable of forcing the price up at least.

Fabio Fognini has significantly improved his hard court record this year but has had a lot of close matches, as his mediocre hold/break stats suggest.  He starts at 1.31 against Adrian Mannarino and I make this very short, without even considering the fact that he can go walkabout mentally on a regular basis.

Fognini, as most will know, is much better on serve than return, but Mannarino has broken 25.1% on hard court this year and that should enable him to pressurise the Fognini serve on occasion.

Furthermore, as has been highlighted on here before, Fognini's break lead loss percentage of 40.5% is horrific for a player around the top 20, and actually this contributes to a combined score of 72.1 - enough to warrant laying the Italian when a break up here. 

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Fognini when a break up against Mannarino and the match is level in sets (Exit points - full hedge if Mannarino gets the break back, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 

Lay Fognini when a set and break up against Mannarino. (Exit points - Clear liability when the break-back comes, full hedge if Mannarino takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 

Lay Fognini when 2-0 up in sets against Mannarino. (Exit points - Clear liability when the break-back comes, full hedge if Mannarino takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 

Lay Fognini when 2 sets and a break up against Mannarino. (Exit points - Clear liability when the break-back comes, full hedge if Mannarino takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 


In the WTA matches today, there has been some discussion in the Chat Room about the match betweenRoberta Vinci and Shuai Peng, with the consensus being that the Chinese player is too short here at around 1.52.  Even though I didn't feel there were many angles here I want to assess it.

Vinci hasn't had her best year but both ladies are capable of widely varying levels.  Projected holds are a shade above ATP mean with Peng edging matters there, so that limits our trades, with Vinci's being almost bang on average.  Break back combined scores are well below average, so laying players a break up in this match isn't recommended at all.

I was considering a play of laying Peng a set up, but the statistics in the Ultimate Pre-Match Betting Spreadsheet indicate Vinci doesn't take at least a set enough in matches, so that's looking like a no-go as well.  

Sometimes you get these matches where you think a player is too short but you can't work out a way to oppose them, apart from a pre-match bet, and this is one of those situations. 

Recommended Trades:-

None.

The final match I want to analyse is the clash between Maria Sharapova and Sabine Lisicki.

Sharapova starts the match at 1.24 and that's very short in my opinion.  It's probably just small enough for me to be interested in a pre-match lay to back, and that's definitely an option here.  

The stats indicate that Sharapova isn't near her previous best (see below), and dropping the first set to Alexandra Dulgheru in the 2nd round was very worrying for her backers.  In that we saw yet again how much the market favours Sharapova in these spots, expecting her to turn the match around, which is only partially the case.  

She actually doesn't turn around break deficits as much as her illustrious peers, but she's excellent at recovering from set deficits.  For a trader, these are two very different things, and these separate entities need to be treated as such...

The following table illustrates how her hard court stats have significantly dropped off in 2014:-

201220132014
Hold %Break %Combined %Hold %Break %Combined %Hold %Break %Combined %
73.249.5122.778.351.1129.466.443.5109.9

There is a clear decline from the last two years and Lisicki's hold/break stats aren't broadly dissimilar today - 68.3% holds and 38.5% breaks - just 3.1% combined percentage below Sharapova's.

Lisicki also took the first set three times in their last four clashes and everything points to a lay to back on the Russian here.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Sharapova pre-match (Exit points, clear liability if she goes a break down, full hedge at the end of the first set for profit, full hedge at the end of the first set for a loss if Sharapova wins the set).


Please note that as always, all suggested trades are just recommendations and all trades are taken at your own risk.

Good luck in the markets and stay green!

27th AUGUST 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Lleyton Hewitt should give up leads more often than average against Tomas Berdych today...

Day three of the US Open starts in just under an hour and we are down to a more manageable workload with 18 men's and 16 women's matches scheduled tonight.  Something that we've talked about in the Chat Room is the importance of avoiding trading many matches at the same time, and avoiding burnout, and the reduction in matches allows this to happen naturally, as opposed to making it a conscious effort, which is not always easy for some.

However, it's important that we are selective and the Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet is highly useful for that purpose, allowing us to identify the matches with high positive expected value, and here are some of the recommended trades from those matches.  

Firstly here is a summary of the recommended trades from yesterday:-

Fognini vs Golubev:- No trades triggered.

Melzer vs Granollers:- Lay Granollers when a set and break up - 1 winning trade, 1 losing trade.  Lay Granollers when 2-0 up in sets - 1 losing trade.  Lay Granollers when 2 sets and a break up - trading out at 15-40 would have yielded a profit on this trade, holding on until break would have been a loss.

Overall a mixed bag with set 2 being a winner and set 3 a loser.

Watson vs Cirstea:- No trades triggered.

Scheepers vs McHale:- Lay Scheepers a break up against McHale in the 3rd set - 1 winning trade.

Profit from this as the one trigger met was a winning trade.

Now I am going to give my thoughts on a few of today's matches with statistical trading recommendations...

A men's match that might not be on everyone's radar is the clash between two qualifiers in Ilya Marchenko and Marco Chiudinelli.  

Marchenko starts at around 1.70 and for me that is wrong, as I make Chiudinelli the marginal favourite, with the Swiss holding 5.2% and breaking 3.1% less in Challengers on hard court in the last 12 months.  What is also apparent is that Marchenko has a weak serve, holding a mere 72.0% from that sample.  This would make him a candidate to have his serve opposed and we should see a greater than average chance of his price rising if he trades low.  

Using some expectation ratios it's possible to estimate the combined break up/down score between these two players and this equates to around 80.3 on Marchenko, which would be well above ATP average.  Therefore laying Marchenko when leading also appeals from these stats.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Marchenko when the match is level but he is a break up (Exit point when the break-back comes for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 

Lay Marchenko when a set and break up (Exit points - Clear liability when the break-back comes, full hedge if Chiudinelli takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 

Lay Marchenko when 2-0 up in sets (Exit points - Clear liability when the break-back comes, full hedge if Chiudinelli takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 

Lay Marchenko when 2 sets and a break up (Exit points - Clear liability when the break-back comes, full hedge if Chiudinelli takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 

The other ATP match I wish to focus on is the clash between the veteran Aussie, Lleyton Hewitt (above, pictured) against Tomas Berdych.  It's a tough opener for the Czech but he starts as a 1.25 favourite here, which looks about right.

Hewitt's serve stats are deteriorating at a fair rate and it would be a surprise if he wasn't broken quite often, with his projected hold not much over the WTA hard court mean.

Furthermore he loses a break lead a poor 36.5%, and with Berdych the best on tour for recovering a break deficit (51.5%) in the last 12 months, a combined score of 88 is gigantic for the ATP.

Laying Hewitt is only really an attractive proposition if he gets in front so the recommended trades are based on that scenario.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Hewitt when a set and break up against Berdych. (Exit points - Clear liability when the break-back comes, full hedge if Berdych takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 

Lay Hewitt when 2-0 up in sets against Berdych. (Exit points - Clear liability when the break-back comes, full hedge if Berdych takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 

Lay Hewitt when 2 sets and a break up against Berdych. (Exit points - Clear liability when the break-back comes, full hedge if Berdych takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 

I would also encourage some form of clearing some liability at 0-30/0-40/15-40 on the Hewitt serve in these scenarios.

In the WTA matches today, there is one match I have particularly high hopes for some positive trades, and that is the clash between Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and Shahar Peer.

Both women are capable of greatly varying levels and huge inconsistency but the stats like the Croat here - she's held 11.1% more and broken 1.7% less in the last 12 months on hard court - and she starts at just under evens for this.  I wasn't too impressed by Peer in the first round with Johanna Konta unable to take her chances and with her low projected hold here, there are a number of avenues that appeal...

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Peer's serve in the 1st set when the set is on serve, in the 2nd set when she's a set up and the set is on serve, and the 3rd set for smaller stakes when the set is on serve (Exit point - at the end of the service game for profit or loss)

Lay Peer when a set and break up (Exit point - if she gets broken back, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss)


Please note that as always, all suggested trades are just recommendations and all trades are taken at your own risk.

Good luck in the markets and stay green!

26th AUGUST 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Marcel Granollers' match against Jurgen Melzer tonight could be swingy...

It's day two of the US Open and matches start in around half an hour.  Last night there were a fair few surprise results and bizarre goings on - Sergiy Stakhovsky failing to break for his first 17 break points was an example of that - and the Chat Room, which was buzzing with 55 members in - certainly enjoyed the action with Paire/Benneteau's craziness and a couple of fully successful Vesnina Trades being some of the highlights...

With 24 men's and 32 women's matches on the agenda tonight it's important that we are selective and the Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet is highly useful for that purpose, allowing us to identify the matches with high positive expected value, and here are some of the recommended trades from those matches.  Naturally, with 56 matches scheduled, there are many decent opportunities and the Spreadsheets highlight many other positions on a daily basis.

With there being an abundance of matches, I'm just going to give some recommended trades for today for a couple of the ATP and WTA matches this evening...

ATP Recommended Trades:-

Lay Golubev when a set and break up against Fognini. (Exit points - Clear liability when the break-back comes, full hedge if Fognini takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 

Lay Golubev when 2-0 up in sets against Fognini. (Exit points - Clear liability when the break-back comes, full hedge if Fognini takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 

Lay Golubev when 2 sets and a break up against Fognini. (Exit points - Clear liability when the break-back comes, full hedge if Fognini takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 

Lay either Melzer and Granollers if they are a set and break up against each other. (Exit points - Clear liability when the break-back comes, full hedge if Fognini takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 

Lay either Melzer and Granollers if they are 2-0 up in sets against each other. (Exit points - Clear liability when the break-back comes, full hedge if Fognini takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 

Lay either Melzer and Granollers if they are 2 sets and a break up against each other. (Exit points - Clear liability when the break-back comes, full hedge if Fognini takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 

Clearly in these spots we are looking at 'averaging down' positions from a set and break or after the second set if the match goes against us, and that's a solid strategy in these scenarios.  On that basis I'd recommend keeping stakes relatively small at the set and break stage, and then looking to lay again at lower prices.

WTA Recommended Trades:-

Lay Watson a set and break up against Cirstea (Exit points - Clear liability or full hedge when the break-back comes, full hedge if Cirstea takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 

Lay Scheepers a break up against McHale in either the 1st or 3rd sets (Exit points - full hedge when the break-back comes, or the end of the set/match, for a loss) 

Lay Scheepers a set and break up against McHale (Exit points - Clear liability or optional full hedge when the break-back comes, full hedge if McHale takes the set, for profit, or the end of the match, for a loss) 


Please note that as always, all suggested trades are just recommendations and all trades are taken at your own risk.

Good luck in the markets and stay green!


22nd AUGUST 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS

Yen-Hsun Lu can continue his good run against Andreas Seppi tonight...

It's quarter-finals day tonight at Winston Salem and New Haven and there's 8 ATP matches and 4 WTA matches on the schedule, which starts at 5pm UK time for the men and 6pm for the women.

Since starting the 'recommended trades' feature, I've been adding a review of those trades and here's the review of Wednesday's recommendations.  Please note that these are not necessarily the trades that the stats recommend the most, as the Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet highlights many other positions on a daily basis.

The following entry point triggers were hit:-

Janowicz vs Roger-Vasselin:-

Lay Janowicz when he is 0-30 or 15-40 up on the Roger-Vasselin serve.  Can be performed in all service games unless Roger-Vasselin was broken in the previous service game. 1 WINNING TRADE (game 5 of 3rd set), 1 LOSING TRADE (game 2 of 2nd set) - profit overall.

Exit point at 30-30, 40-30, 40-40 or game to either player, depending on tolerance of risk - personally I like clearing liability at 30-30 or 40-40 and leaving all profit on Roger-Vasselin until the end of the service game.

Nieminen vs Goffin:-

Lay Goffin's serve in the first set when on serve, the second set when a set up and it's on serve, or the final set, when it's on serve, unless he holds serve to love in his previous service game (Exit point at the end of the service game, for profit if the break occurs, or for a loss if it does not) - 1 WINNING TRADE, 4 LOSING TRADES in set 2, 2 LOSING TRADES in set 3
Lay Goffin when a break up in the 1st and 3rd sets (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) ) - 2 LOSING TRADES

For all these trades I recommend taking liability out at 0-30 or 15-40, and hedging at 0-40.

We traded this match live in the Chat Room and all members managed positive positions overall, despite the apparent failure of the above trades.  Firstly, the set 1 trade was recovered with the 'Vesnina Trade' from my handbook which saw Nieminen recover one of the two breaks at a very low average lay price.  Overall, members favoured laying Goffin again after the first set and this was a huge winner, from 1.16 to 1.7x if I recall correctly.  The service lays generated slight profit in set 2.

Set 3 wasn't good though, although quite a lot of the Chat Room had closed their book by this point.  Personally I feel that 'profit taking' isn't a +EV concept, although I understand that it does improve mental sanity somewhat...

Lu vs Granollers:-

We were right in thinking Granollers was vulnerable but he didn't get into the match at all, and Lu trained to 1.01.  No triggers met there.


Stats look more interesting in the ATP side of things today, so I'll focus on those matches for today's previews.

Getting us started is Andreas Seppi and after a perhaps fortunate straight-sets win over Nicolas Mahut yesterday (Mahut had two set points in the second set) the Italian takes on Yen-Hsun Lu, who had a facile win over Marcel Granollers.

It's the man from Chinese Taipei who starts as favourite at around 1.75 and that's very generous indeed from my perspective - he has much better 12 month hard court stats, holding 7.1% more and breaking 2.7% more as well - and there's no doubt he is in the better form.

Furthermore, in-play stats favour Lu, as he's more solid when a break up (28.6% lead loss to 35.5%) and better when a break down (44.0% recovery to 41.8%).  This makes Seppi's combined score 79.5 and this is easily enough to warrant laying him when a break up, combined with his low projected hold for this clash.

Overall, all the stats favour Lu and I feel opposing Seppi is the way forward here...

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Seppi when a break up in the 1st and 3rd sets (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 
Lay Seppi when a set and break up in the 2nd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 

The TennisRatings Chat Room had great success last night with over 35 in it, and it's been busy already this morning.  I was asked to do a preview of Jerzy Janowicz versus David Goffin, and that takes the basis of my second preview.

Goffin had arguably the toughest test of his winning streak last night against Jarkko Nieminen, getting the better of the Finn in three one-break sets whilst Janowicz came from a set down to beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin in a very tight clash, so the Pole - often so inconsistent - clearly wants to be here this week.

Goffin is trading around 1.60 currently and that looks a little too short, although that's not exactly a shock seeing as the world and their wife is on his bandwagon right now - I priced him around the 1.75 mark today.

From a trading perspective there's little to recommend, with projected holds around ATP mean and combined break-back scores below the 71 threshold.  Laying Goffin when a set up can't be viable unless the in-play stats warrant it, as he's seen out so many matches this year without any fuss, although obviously many were against low-level opponents.  

Janowicz has lost 4 out of 7 second sets when he's won the first priced 2.00-2.99 at ATP level, and Goffin has won just 2/11 when a set down with an SP of 1.50-1.99, so laying Janowicz a set up can't be considered right now either.  

The final match of the night is for the night owls, with Guillermo Garcia-Lopez taking on Sam Querrey at midnight UK time.

Garcia-Lopez toughed out an epic 3 setter against Donald Young - another match which had great success for the Chat Room - and he may be tired tonight, although obviously with the last match on court, he does have maximum recovery time.  

I can only think this - and a tight 3-0 head to head record - is the reason why Querrey is so short because 1.46 isn't accurate at all based on the stats.  Garcia-Lopez took a set twice in those matches and adores a 3-setter, so laying Querrey a set up possibly appeals here.  

Garcia-Lopez has won the 2nd set 5/10 times having lost the 1st set in the last 12 months, and ultimately the match 4 times out of those occasions.  That's very strong indeed.  Querrey went through a rough patch just after the turn of the year, throwing away many winning positions, but has been more solid lately and has won in straight sets in 12/18 since January 2014 when priced 1.25-2.00 having won the first set.

Querrey - for a big server - is very poor when a break up, losing a break lead 30.4% of the time.  With GGL recovering a break deficit 42.3% of the time, the combined score of 72.7 on Querrey means he can also be laid a break up here.

I like both of those trades, for relatively small stakes.  Ideally gauging Garcia-Lopez's level would be worthwhile, but in advance of the match, I can't take that into account.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Querrey when a break up in the 1st and 3rd sets (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 
Lay Querrey when he wins the first set.
Lay Querrey when a set and break up in the 2nd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 

(For all these trades I do not mind taking liability out 0-30 or 15-40, and hedging at 0-40 depending on your tolerance of risk)

Please note that as always, all suggested trades are just recommendations and all trades are taken at your own risk.

Good luck in the markets and stay green!

21st AUGUST 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Marcel Granollers is vulnerable against Yen-Hsun Lu today...

It's quarter-finals day tonight at Winston Salem and New Haven and there's 8 ATP matches and 4 WTA matches on the schedule, which starts at 5pm UK time for the men and 6pm for the women.

Since starting the 'recommended trades' feature, I've been adding a review of those trades and here's the review of Wednesday's recommendations.  Please note that these are not necessarily the trades that the stats recommend the most, as the Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet highlights many other positions on a daily basis.

The following entry point triggers were hit:-

Janowicz vs Roger-Vasselin:-

Lay Janowicz when he is 0-30 or 15-40 up on the Roger-Vasselin serve.  Can be performed in all service games unless Roger-Vasselin was broken in the previous service game. 1 WINNING TRADE (game 5 of 3rd set), 1 LOSING TRADE (game 2 of 2nd set) - profit overall.

Exit point at 30-30, 40-30, 40-40 or game to either player, depending on tolerance of risk - personally I like clearing liability at 30-30 or 40-40 and leaving all profit on Roger-Vasselin until the end of the service game.

Nieminen vs Goffin:-

Lay Goffin's serve in the first set when on serve, the second set when a set up and it's on serve, or the final set, when it's on serve, unless he holds serve to love in his previous service game (Exit point at the end of the service game, for profit if the break occurs, or for a loss if it does not) - 1 WINNING TRADE, 4 LOSING TRADES in set 2, 2 LOSING TRADES in set 3
Lay Goffin when a break up in the 1st and 3rd sets (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) ) - 2 LOSING TRADES

For all these trades I recommend taking liability out at 0-30 or 15-40, and hedging at 0-40.

We traded this match live in the Chat Room and all members managed positive positions overall, despite the apparent failure of the above trades.  Firstly, the set 1 trade was recovered with the 'Vesnina Trade' from my handbook which saw Nieminen recover one of the two breaks at a very low average lay price.  Overall, members favoured laying Goffin again after the first set and this was a huge winner, from 1.16 to 1.7x if I recall correctly.  The service lays generated slight profit in set 2.

Set 3 wasn't good though, although quite a lot of the Chat Room had closed their book by this point.  Personally I feel that 'profit taking' isn't a +EV concept, although I understand that it does improve mental sanity somewhat...

Lu vs Granollers:-

We were right in thinking Granollers was vulnerable but he didn't get into the match at all, and Lu trained to 1.01.  No triggers met there.

In today's action, there are a number of trading options and I want to focus on several:-

Opening the action is Jerzy Janowicz against Edouard Roger-Vasselin.  Yesterday we didn't manage to hit any triggers for Roger-Vasselin against Alexandr Nedovyesov but I like his price here against an opponent who looks to be coming into some form, but is highly inconsistent.

Janowicz starts at around 1.56 which I make very short indeed.  Roger-Vasselin has held serve 3.2% more on hard courts and broken 3.3% more, so there appears to be an over-reaction based on some of Janowicz's recent wins.  That's not entirely a surprise, as he seems to be one of those players whose price fluctuates madly according to form - the male Camila Giorgi, basically.

Projected holds are a little above average, with Roger-Vasselin edging matters - with a high break point clutch score, I like backing the Frenchman when losing on serve here.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Janowicz when he is 0-30 or 15-40 up on the Roger-Vasselin serve.  Can be performed in all service games unless Roger-Vasselin was broken in the previous service game.

Exit point at 30-30, 40-30, 40-40 or game to either player, depending on tolerance of risk - personally I like clearing liability at 30-30 or 40-40 and leaving all profit on Roger-Vasselin until the end of the service game.

In the TennisRatings Chat Room - which went live at 4pm UK time today - I asked for suggestions of matches to preview, and David Goffin against Jarkko Nieminen was a popular choice.

This match takes to the court after the Janowicz/ERV match and as per usual since his run of wins, Goffin is treated unfavourably by my model.  That's not a surprise as most of the stats used are prior to his winning streak (which was almost solely on clay) and I still feel he has plenty to prove on hard courts.

However, I can't recollect another player in recent times that has gone from being pretty mediocre to beating opponents in this way, so we must tread relatively carefully with him.   Having said that, there's no doubt he's being loved by the market currently and this run will end soon, and it's also worth mentioning that he hasn't played many decent opponents, apart from Philipp Kohlschreiber, who was awful in their match.

With both players posting weak hard court service numbers, projected holds are low and so is the combined score on Goffin, with the Belgian losing a break lead 34.8% of the time in the last 12 months.  With Nieminen recovering a break deficit 41.8% of the time, this combined score of 76.6 is easily enough to warrant laying Goffin a break up.  Small stakes are recommended due to the above statement, but I think this is a trade of high positive expectation.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Goffin's serve in the first set when on serve, the second set when a set up and it's on serve, or the final set, when it's on serve, unless he holds serve to love in his previous service game (Exit point at the end of the service game, for profit if the break occurs, or for a loss if it does not) 
Lay Goffin when a break up in the 1st and 3rd sets (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 
Lay Goffin when a set and break up in the 2nd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 

For all these trades I recommend taking liability out at 0-30 or 15-40, and hedging at 0-40.

There's not much I like in the WTA, so our final preview looks at Yen-Hsun Lu against Marcel Granollers.

Lu has the better hard court stats and starts at 1.59, which looks generous - he's held 10.5% more on hard courts in the last 12 months, and broken 0.5% more.  He should also be buoyed by a great win over Tomas Berdych last week.

As I've mentioned before, Lu has excellent break deficit recovery stats and I like his chances if Granollers leads by a break today, as the Spaniard is none too solid when a break up, losing that lead 36.9% in the last 12 months.

Granollers also has a low projected hold and there are a variety of circumstances where he can be opposed today.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Granollers' serve in the second set when a set up and it's on serve, or the final set, when it's on serve, unless he holds serve to love in his previous service game (Exit point at the end of the service game, for profit if the break occurs, or for a loss if it does not) 
Lay Granollers when a break up in the 1st and 3rd sets (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 
Lay Granollers when a set and break up in the 2nd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 

(For all these trades I do not mind taking liability out 0-30 or 15-40, and hedging at 0-40 depending on your tolerance of risk)

Please note that as always, all suggested trades are just recommendations and all trades are taken at your own risk.

Good luck in the markets and stay green!

19th AUGUST 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Edouard Roger-Vasselin should have some joy on the Nedovyesov serve today...

We are into the second round matches tonight at Winston Salem and New Haven and again there's plenty of action this evening with 14 ATP matches and 4 WTA matches on the schedule, which starts at 5pm UK time.

Since starting the 'recommended trades' feature, I've been adding a review of those trades and here's the review of Monday's recommendations.  Please note that these are not necessarily the trades that the stats recommend the most, as the Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet highlights many other positions on a daily basis.

The following entry point triggers were hit:-

Goffin vs Melzer:-

Lay Goffin's serve in the first set, when the set is on serve, the second set when a set up and it's on serve, or the final set, when it's on serve (Exit point at the end of the service game, for profit if the break occurs, or for a loss if it does not) - WINNING TRADE FOR LIABILITY CLEARED IN GAME 1 OF SET 1, AT 15-40, NO LOSING TRADES
Lay Goffin when a break up in the 1st set (Clear liability when the first break-back comes, full exit point either when the set is back on serve or the end of the set) - 1 LOSING TRADE
Lay Goffin when a set and break up in the 2nd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) - 1 LOSING TRADE

For all these trades I do not mind taking liability out 0-30 or 15-40, and hedging at 0-40 depending on your tolerance of risk) 

Overall a loss after a very unusual match, which was one of huge positive variance for Goffin.  Melzer actually created twice as many break points as Goffin in the match, yet failed to even break the Belgian.

It's incredibly rare for a player to have twice as many break points yet fail to break their opponent, on their way to a defeat, so there's no other option but to chalk this one down to variance.

Klizan vs Delbonis:-

Lay Delbonis when he is 0-30 or 15-40 up on the Klizan serve.  Can be performed in all service games unless Klizan was broken in the previous service game - 1 WINNING TRADE, 2 LOSING TRADES

Exit point at 30-30, 40-30, 40-40 or game to either player, depending on tolerance of risk - personally I like clearing liability at 30-30 or 40-40 and leaving all profit on Klizan until the end of the service game.

Overall, yesterday was disappointing for the recommended trades, but considering the scenarios (Delbonis had barely broken opponents on hard court until yesterday as well) we were pretty unlucky.  Carla Suarez Navarro pulled out of her match with Irina Begu before it started, so no trades applied there.

In today's action, there are a number of trading options and I want to focus on several:-

The first is one of the opening clashes - Alexandr Nedovyesov against Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

The Frenchman starts as favourite at around 1.30 and I like this price on him, based on Nedovyesov's ATP stats.  His Challenger stats are better - even when adjusted for ATP level - but the Kazakh has really struggled with the step up (even Robin Haase said he wasn't very good!) and has only broken 7.8% on hard court in the last 12 months, holding serve a poor 70.8% of the time.

ERV is pretty solid with 82.4% holds and 20.7% breaks and should easily be good enough to get the job done here, and if Nedovyesov gets in front I like opposing him.  He's lost a break lead 42.9% in the last 12 months at ATP level and Roger-Vasselin has recovered a deficit 33.3%.  This is easily good enough to warrant laying Nedovyesov a break up today.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Nedovyesov's serve in the second set when a set up and it's on serve, or the final set, when it's on serve, unless he holds serve to love or 15 in his previous service game (Exit point at the end of the service game, for profit if the break occurs, or for a loss if it does not) 
Lay Nedovyesov when a break up in the 1st and 3rd sets (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 
Lay Nedovyesov when a set and break up in the 2nd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 

For all these trades I do not mind taking liability out 0-30 or 15-40, and hedging at 0-40 depending on your tolerance of risk) 

Pablo Andujar is the ATP player with the lowest projected hold today and the Spanish clay-courter has an atrocious hard court service hold of 62.5% in the last 12 months.  Even an opponent as limited as Igor Sijsling should be able to take advantage today, and the Dutchman starts at 1.58, which looks a little on the generous side.

However, for a player with such a weak serve, Andujar is pretty solid when a break up and has only lost a break lead 30.9% in the last 12 months.  Sijsling's break deficit recovery percentage is poor at 25.5%, so I don't like laying Andujar a break up here.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Andujar's serve when the set is on serve in the 1st set, the second set when the set is on serve if he wins the first set, and the third set when the set is on serve.

(Exit point at the end of the service game, for profit if the break occurs, or for a loss if it does not) 

In the WTA, one match stands out for a low projected hold and deficit recovery, and it does involve a heavy underdog.

Magdalena Rybarikova has had a bad time of it in recent months and she takes on the world number two Simona Halep tonight. 

Unsurprisingly, Halep is a heavy 1.11 favourite and this looks pretty correct.  Rybarikova - due to Halep's superb return game which has broken opponents 50.3% in the last 12 months on hard court - has a low projected hold and the Slovak also is poor when a break up, losing this lead 52.3%.  With Halep recovering a break deficit 58.7%, Rybarikova's combined score of 111.0 is significantly higher than the WTA top 100 mean, and laying her when a break up has huge positive expectation.

However, laying her a break up in the first set isn't really viable price-wise, as Halep will still be trading odds-on, so we need to look at the latter stages of the match for this trade to work.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Rybarikova when a set and break up in the 2nd set, or a break up in the 3rd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 

For this trade I do not mind taking liability or hedging at 0-40 depending on your tolerance of risk.


Please note that as always, all suggested trades are just recommendations and all trades are taken at your own risk.

Good luck in the markets and stay green!

18th AUGUST 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


All of David Goffin's success has come on clay courts...

After several Sunday matches, it's the main opening day in our two tournaments this week, which see a 48-man field take to the courts at Winston-Salem, with 28 participating in the WTA Premier event in New Haven, and there's plenty of action tonight with 21 matches on the schedule.

With the US Open starting a week today, many will feel player motivation this week may be a little questionable, especially from the big names, so it will be interesting to see how this pans out this week.

At Winston-Salem in 2012, backing favourites blindly to a £100 stake generated a loss of £139 (-3.09% ROI) whilst in 2013, doing so generated a profit of £265.  Overall a profit of £126 was obtained backing favourites.  

At New Haven in 2012, favourite success was stellar, with £1024 profits recorded from £100 stake.  Only three favourites - Wozniacki, Agnieszka Radwanska and Glatch - lost, with the former two losing by way of retirement.  In 2013, a loss of £58 ensued.

Generally, these historical stats show that either the market took account for possible player motivation and offered bigger prices on favourites, or a lack player motivation is a myth this week.

In the WTA matches, in 2013 9/26 completed matches went 3 sets (34.6%) whilst in 2012 this figure was much lower (4/25 = 16.0%).  The two-year percentage of 25.5% is around 7% below WTA mean.

In the ATP matches, 14/46 went 3 sets in 2012 (30.4%) and in 2013 this figure was 20/43 (46.5%).  The two-year percentage of 38.2% is slightly above the ATP mean of around 36%.  

On this basis, it's tough to say that players don't fight from a set down the week prior to the US Open either, so I think it's very unfair to make any assumptions on player motivation in this situation.


Since starting the 'recommended trades' feature, I've been adding a review of those trades and here's the review of Friday's recommendations.  Please note that these are not necessarily the trades that the stats recommend the most, as the Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet highlights many other positions on a daily basis.

The following entry point triggers were hit:-

Sharapova vs Halep:-

Lay Sharapova's serve when the set is on serve in the 1st set, the 2nd set if she wins the first, and the 3rd set, but only in the opening game of the first set, or if she was broken in her previous service game, or held to 15 or 40.

FIRST SET:- GAME 1 (WINNING TRADE), GAME 3 (WINNING TRADE)
SECOND SET:- NO ENTRY POINT TRIGGERS MET
THIRD SET:- GAME 2 (WINNING TRADE), GAME 4 (LOSING TRADE), GAME 6 (LOSING  TRADE), GAME 8 (LOSING TRADE), GAME 10 (LOSING TRADE)

Eventually Sharapova sorted her serve out after a horrendous start.  However she still produced 3 winning trades out of the 7 (42% breaks) which is above expectation for WTA breaks on hard court (36.7%).  Furthermore, Sharapova getting broken to 0-2 in the final set was a trade with huge price movement. 

Overall, a positive match.

In today's action, there are a number of intriguing matches.  I mentioned on Twitter earlier that I'm quite a big fan of 'no-mark' type matches - the type where player ability is quite limited, and under exposed.

Therefore those with detailed knowledge of players, or those with an ability to adjust Challenger stats to ATP stats, both in terms of surface hold/break stats and in-play stats, using a variety of ratios, are in a good spot.  I spent many hours backtesting such scenarios so a card like tonight's at Winston Salem is of great interest.

Opening proceedings is the flavour of the summer, David Goffin and the diminutive Belgian takes on the Austrian veteran, Jurgen Melzer.

In terms of form these two are poles apart but on hard court stats, it's Melzer with the clear edge.   In addition to this, he's defending champion and would face a big ranking position drop should he lose today.

Despite this he starts as a 2.80 underdog and I make that value.  Goffin has never impressed on hard courts, and his recent success has all come on clay.  He still has a lot to prove to me on hard courts and this level and I like opposing him today.  Furthermore, after coming through qualifiers, despite a straightforward looking 7-5 6-1 win over WR286 Jason Jung, Goffin was broken 3 times, so his weak serve was clearly under pressure from a very limited opponent.

Melzer has managed to break 22.8% on hard court in the last 12 months and that's a little above average.  He also has a very good record in deciding sets and recovering break deficits (39.2%).  With Goffin slightly poor when a break up (has lost a break lead 34.8%) I like opposing him in various situations today:-

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Goffin's serve in the first set, when the set is on serve, the second set when a set up and it's on serve, or the final set, when it's on serve (Exit point at the end of the service game, for profit if the break occurs, or for a loss if it does not) 
Lay Goffin when a break up in the 1st set (Clear liability when the first break-back comes, full exit point either when the set is back on serve or the end of the set) 
Lay Goffin when a set and break up in the 2nd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 
Lay Goffin's serve when a set up and the set is on serve in the 2nd set unless he holds to love in the previous service game. (Exit point at the end of the service game, for profit if the break occurs, or for a loss if it does not) 

For all these trades I do not mind taking liability out 0-30 or 15-40, and hedging at 0-40 depending on your tolerance of risk) 

The other match I want to focus on from an ATP perspective is the clash between two clay-courters inMartin Klizan and Federico Delbonis.

However, whilst it's fair to say both are more comfortable on the dirt, Klizan is much more competent on hard surfaces and Delbonis is 0-6 on hard court at ATP level - holding 74.6% and breaking an atrocious 5.4%.  Clearly he has had little success pressurising opponents' serve at this level.

Klizan is generally very strong at saving break points, doing so 62.4% in the last 12 months, despite winning just 60.3% of service points.  This may sound an unremarkable stat, but it's not.  The average ATP player saves 2.8% less break points than they win service points, and this is related to the previous supremacy that the returner has had in that service game.  So, if a player wins more break points than service points, this indicates excellent mental strength in this area and this also contributes to Klizan's high break point 'clutch' score for today's match.

Furthermore, with Delbonis having terrible return stats on hard court, Klizan's projected hold is high, and I also make him a little value at the pre-match 1.46.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Delbonis when he is 0-30 or 15-40 up on the Klizan serve.  Can be performed in all service games unless Klizan was broken in the previous service game.

Exit point at 30-30, 40-30, 40-40 or game to either player, depending on tolerance of risk - personally I like clearing liability at 30-30 or 40-40 and leaving all profit on Klizan until the end of the service game.

In the WTA, there's some fascinating matches and one match that the Tier Two Spreadsheets have highlighted as worthy of note is the clash between Carla Suarez Navarro and Irina Begu.

Both players are much stronger on return than serve and Begu in particular should struggle to hold serve today against a higher ranked opponent.

Suarez Navarro starts at around 1.43 which I make a touch of value, and Begu's projected hold is very low indeed.  With Begu being much stronger on the clay, she's only held 46.3% on hard courts in the last 12 months, so against a good returner who is excellent at winning when expected to do so, she should struggle today.

The break lead loss and break deficit recovery stats make it not quite viable enough to lay the Romanian a break up (it has some positive expectation, but not enough for me) but if this trade was performed, especially when a set and break up in the second set, or a break up in the final set, it wouldn't be horrendous by any means from a long-term perspective.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Begu's serve when the set is on serve in the 2nd set if she wins the first, and the 3rd set, unless she held her previous service game to love.

For this trade I do not mind taking liability or hedging at 0-40 depending on your tolerance of risk.


Please note that as always, all suggested trades are just recommendations and all trades are taken at your own risk.

Good luck in the markets and stay green!

Despite a decline in return figures in 2014, Serena Williams still has the best break deficit recovery in the WTA...

It's quarter-finals day in Cincinnati and there's some intriguing matches on the card for tonight...

Since starting the 'recommended trades' feature, I've been adding a review of those trades and here's the review of Wednesday's recommendations.  Please note that these are not necessarily the trades that the stats recommend the most, as the Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet highlights many other positions on a daily basis.

The following entry point triggers were hit:-

Fognini vs Hewitt:-

Lay Fognini when a break up in the 1st set (Clear liability when the first break-back comes, full exit point either when the set is back on serve or the end of the set) - 1 LOSING TRADE
Lay Fognini when a set and break up in the 2nd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) - 1 WINNING TRADE
Lay Fognini's serve when a set up and the set is on serve in the 2nd set unless he holds to love in the previous service game. (Exit point at the end of the service game, for profit if the break occurs, or for a loss if it does not) - 1 WINNING TRADE (game 1 of 2nd set)

Despite Hewitt not threatening as much as I felt he would, a first set losing trading position was turned around very nicely with two winning trades in the second set, as Fognini was first broken in the opening game of the second set, and then broken when serving for the match.

Raonic vs Ginepri:-

Lay Raonic when he is 0-30 or 15-40 up on the Ginepri serve.  (Exit point at 30-30, 40-30, 40-40 or game to either player, depending on tolerance of risk - personally I like clearing liability at 30-30 or 40-40 and leaving all profit on Ginepri until the end of the service game) - 1 WINNING TRADE, 4 LOSING TRADES

A tough loss with Raonic taking most of his opportunities in this match and winning easily.  However, backing players with a high projected hold and break point 'clutch' score when losing on serve reduces the tick loss significantly when they are broken, as opposed to backing them at the start of their service game, when far too much risk is incurred.  Avoiding situations where the tick loss for a trade is significantly greater than the tick gain is crucial.

As for today's matches, there isn't as many plentiful trading avenues as previously this week - there are no ATP players with projected holds over 5% below the mean, so it's tough to recommend much in the way of server opposition.

Tommy Robredo has the lowest projected hold for his match with David Ferrer, and a high combined break-back score of 78.6, and there's definite statistical edge laying the lower-ranked Spaniard when a break up in the match, particularly in sets one and three, but it's not quite enough for me to give a formal trading recommendation.

Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic have high projected holds for their matches, but mediocre break point 'clutch' scores, so backing them when losing in service games doesn't hugely appeal - and I quite likeFabio Fognini to give Raonic a closer match than the market expects.

In the WTA, there's some fascinating matches with Maria Sharapova (1.80) having a low projected hold against Simona Halep but taking a 4-0 head to head lead into her clash with the Romanian.  With Sharapova strong when a break up, laying her a break up cannot be considered, but I quite like opposing her serve in selected situations for small stakes with Halep arguably the best in the WTA on return currently:-

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Sharapova's serve when the set is on serve in the 1st set, the 2nd set if she wins the first, and the 3rd set, but only in the opening game of the first set, or if she was broken in her previous service game, or held to 15 or 40.

The other match that interests me is Serena Williams against Jelena Jankovic.  Williams starts the match as a heavy 1.16 favourite, which looks reasonable.

However, Williams' return stats have declined in 2014 (her service stats have stayed at a stellar level) and because of this, Jankovic's projected hold isn't quite low enough to warrant serious action opposing her serve.

Whilst the combined score on the Serbian world number nine is very high at 114.0 - well above the top 100 WTA mean of 90.4 - doing this in conjunction with a low projected hold is the most ideal scenario according to my 'Laying WTA players at low prices' article, and the closest scenario for this is scenario 5, but it just falls below that criteria.  

Furthermore, should Williams fall behind, the market tends to expect her to come back but as her return stats have declined, so has her break back percentage.  Until recently, Williams recovered a break deficit an incredible 78% of the time, so the market was absolutely correct to expect her to recover deficits.  However, it's now dropped to 69% in the last 12 months - still the best in the WTA but much more 'human' than before.  

Weighing this up, there are positives and negatives to opposing Jankovic when leading.  I feel for small stakes - mainly due to the stratospheric combined score and also the recent head to head history which has shown Williams coming back from a set down and also winning both deciding sets in the matches since 2012, I lean towards laying Jankovic for small stakes in certain scenarios:-

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Jankovic when a set and break up in the 2nd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss)
Lay Jankovic when a break up in the 3rd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 


Please note that as always, all suggested trades are just recommendations and all trades are taken at your own risk.

Good luck in the markets and stay green!

13th AUGUST 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS

Stats support opposing Fabio Fognini when in front against Lleyton Hewitt today...

Second round matches are concluded in the Cincinnati Masters/Premier events tonight, so again there's plenty of options for traders this evening with 14 ATP and 13 WTA matches on the schedule for this evening.

Since starting the 'recommended trades' feature, I've been adding a review of those trades and here's the review of yesterday's recommendations.  Please note that these are not necessarily the trades that the stats recommend the most, as the Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet highlights many other positions on a daily basis.

The following entry point triggers were hit:-

Garcia-Lopez vs Ward:-

Lay Ward when a break up in the 1st set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) - 1 LOSING TRADE
Lay Ward when a break up in the 3rd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) - 1 LOSING TRADE

Bautista-Agut vs Klizan:-

Lay Klizan when a break up in the 3rd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) - 2 WINNING TRADES

Muguruza vs Beck:-

Lay Beck when a break up in the 3rd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 1 LOSING TRADE
Lay Beck's serve when a set up and the set is on serve in the 2nd set (Exit point at the end of the service game, for profit if the break occurs, or for a loss if it does not - I do not mind taking liability out or hedging at 0-40 depending on your tolerance of risk) - 1 WINNING TRADE, 2 LOSING TRADES (if liability removed/hedged was taken at 0-40 - 1st game of 2nd set then it would be 2 WINNING TRADES, 1 LOSING TRADE)

Overall a pretty mixed bag yesterday, with Garcia-Lopez disappointing but the Klizan match being a big positive.  The Muguruza/Annika Beck match was mixed, with variance not on our side - Beck faced break points in 9/13 service games but crucially not in the final two service games of the match.

We continue this vein today with the German - who I intend to write an article on in the near future - taking on Jelena Jankovic.   Jankovic has broken 45.8% in the last 12 months on hard court and unsurprisingly this forces Beck's projected hold very low again.

In fact it's possible to rinse and repeat yesterday's situation for this match with Jankovic strong at recovering break deficits - 54.2%.  

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Beck when a double break up in the 1st set (Clear liability when the first break-back comes, full exit point either when the set is back on serve or the end of the set) 
Lay Beck when a set and break up in the 2nd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss)
Lay Beck when a break up in the 3rd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 
Lay Beck's serve when a set up and the set is on serve in the 2nd set (Exit point at the end of the service game, for profit if the break occurs, or for a loss if it does not)

For these trades I do not mind taking liability out or hedging at 0-40 depending on your tolerance of risk) 

Kurumi Nara is another whose serve is vulnerable today, against a much higher ranked opponent.  She faces Agnieszka Radwanska, who starts at 1.22 today and that looks about right.

The Pole holds 7.5% more and breaks 5.0% more on hard courts in the last 12 months and when you consider that it's often against a higher calibre of opponent, it is clear that the Japanese player will struggle to hold consistently today, and she has a projected hold bang on the 50% mark.

Furthermore, Nara is very poor when a break up, losing leads 52.2% of the time, and with Radwanska's deficit recovery excellent at 56.5%, opposing Nara's serve in a variety of guises today should work well.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Nara when a double break up in the 1st set (Clear liability when the first break-back comes, full exit point either when the set is back on serve or the end of the set) 
Lay Nara when a set and break up in the 2nd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss)
Lay Nara when a break up in the 3rd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 
Lay Nara's serve when a set up and the set is on serve in the 2nd set, unless she holds to love in the previous service game (Exit point at the end of the service game, for profit if the break occurs, or for a loss if it does not)

For these trades I do not mind taking liability out or hedging at 0-40 depending on your tolerance of risk.

One match in the ATP which interests me is the clash between Fabio Fognini and Lleyton Hewitt with both players capable of a very high level or utter dross.  However, there's only one player you'd want in the trenches with you and that's the veteran Aussie, who represents some value at around 2.24 today.

Both players are much stronger on return than serve and this leads to two low projected holds, particularly so on Fognini, who also has an atrocious break lead loss percentage of 40.5%.  For a player around the top 20, that's horrific and testament to his lack of concentration in matches.  Hewitt, who as I mentioned, is renowned for his fighting abilities despite a declining level, is excellent at recovering break deficits, doing so 47.6% in the last 12 months - pretty much elite level.  On that basis, plus with my model favouring Hewitt, laying Fognini a break up is mandatory.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Fognini when a break up in the 1st set (Clear liability when the first break-back comes, full exit point either when the set is back on serve or the end of the set) - 1 LOSING TRADE
Lay Fognini when a set and break up in the 2nd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) - 1 WINNING TRADE
Lay Fognini when a break up in the 3rd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss) 
Lay Fognini's serve when a set up and the set is on serve in the 2nd set unless he holds to love in the previous service game. (Exit point at the end of the service game, for profit if the break occurs, or for a loss if it does not) - 1 WINNING TRADE (game 1 of 2nd set)

For these trades I do not mind taking liability out or hedging at 0-40 depending on your tolerance of risk.

The final match I want to look at is probably a bit of a surprise, and that's Milos Raonic versus Robby Ginepri.  I was really impressed with Ginepri's mentality against a more inexperienced opponent in the latter stages of the third set against Dominic Thiem yesterday and he'll need all of that again today against an opponent likely to be serving bombs.

However, the quick conditions coupled with Raonic's poor return stats (although they've improved greatly this year) mean Ginepri also has a high projected hold for this match, and actually I think he represents a touch of value at around 7.60 - I priced him at 6.00 for this.

In addition to this, the American veteran has a high break point 'clutch' score so should be able to save his fair share of break points, so opposing Raonic when he makes inroads into the Ginepri serve looks to be a viable trading avenue.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Raonic when he is 0-30 or 15-40 up on the Ginepri serve.  (Exit point at 30-30, 40-30 or game to either player, depending on tolerance of risk - personally I like clearing liability at 30-30 and leaving all profit on Ginepri until the end of the service game) - 1 WINNING TRADE, 4 LOSING TRADES


Please note that as always, all suggested trades are just recommendations and all trades are taken at your own risk.

Good luck in the markets and stay green!

12th AUGUST 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Annika Beck should have her serve picked apart by Garbine Muguruza today...

Today sees the first round matches concluded in the Cincinnati Masters/Premier events and several second round matches are also on the card, so there's plenty of options for traders this evening.

Firstly I wanted to do a quick review of the recommended trades from the last preview on the 8th August - I haven't had a chance to do this as I was away with family all weekend.

The following entry point triggers were hit:-

Lay Raonic when he is 0-30 or 15-40 up on the Lopez serve.  WINNING TRADE, 0 LOSING TRADES (game 5 of the 5th set)

There were no entry point triggers hit in the Ferrer vs Federer match.


Onto today's matches.   I've picked out several matches that interest me based on the stats - as always the statistics mentioned for every match on the card are available daily in the Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet.  
Quite strangely, the relatively quick conditions at Cincinnati appear to have more effect on the ATP players, with the men holding 2.2% above hard court mean last year, but the women held 0.7% less.  This is also seen in the projected hold figures today, which have few men with low projected holds.

One player that does have a low projected hold is James Ward.  He takes on the more experiencedGuillermo Garcia-Lopez and they are first on court at 4pm UK time this afternoon.

It's the Spaniard that starts as favourite, although I feel he is generously priced at 1.59 against someone who is basically a Challenger player.  Ward's ATP stats are very unimpressive, and from the matches I've seen, appears to be someone who has a high propensity to choke in winning situations.

Whilst I don't have in-play stats on Ward, due to lack of data, I feel he should be opposed if he trades at short prices today.  Garcia-Lopez recovers a break deficit a strong 42.3% of the time, and based on the surface stats, I've calculated Ward's stats using a backtested ratio (spreadsheet subscribers were informed of this ratio last week) and this calculation indicates Ward should lose a break lead 38.3% of the time.  This would be more than enough to warrant laying the Englishman in various situations today.

Recommended Trade:-

Lay Ward when a break up in the 1st set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss)
Lay Ward when a set and break up in the 2nd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss)
Lay Ward when a break up in the 3rd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss)
Lay Ward's serve when a set up and the set is on serve in the 2nd set (unless he holds the previous service game to love, 15 or 30)  (Exit point at the end of the service game, for profit if the break occurs, or for a loss if it does not - with Ward having a high break point clutch score I do not mind taking some or all liability out at 0-30, 0-40 or 15-40, depending on your tolerance of risk)

Roberto Bautista-Agut is another with a decent break deficit recovery percentage (40.0% in the last 12 months) and he takes on the Slovak, Martin Klizan, tonight.

It's the Spaniard, who has made great strides in the last 12 months, who is favourite at around 1.30 and again I make that a little value - these players would be much closer on clay.

With Bautista-Agut breaking opponents 27.6% in the last 12 months, and Klizan not especially strong on serve, this gives Klizan a low projected hold.  Furthermore, with Klizan losing a break lead 32.6% in the last 12 months - making him just a little worse than the ATP mean - the combined score on Klizan is 72.6, which places him in the best scenario - scenario 6 - in my ATP article which discusses laying players at low prices.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Klizan when a set and break up in the 2nd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss)
Lay Klizan when a break up in the 3rd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss)
Lay Klizan's serve when a set up and the set is on serve in the 2nd set (unless he holds the previous service game to love)  (Exit point at the end of the service game, for profit if the break occurs, or for a loss if it does not - I do not mind taking liability out or hedging at 0-40 depending on your tolerance of risk)

The final match I want to discuss is the WTA clash between Garbine Muguruza and Annika Beck(above, pictured).  Muguruza starts at 1.40 and that's some value based on my model, which priced her at 1.27.

Beck has arguably the worst serve on the WTA tour and has held just 46.6% on hard courts in the last 12 months.  Against a strong returner like Muguruza, who has broken 45.0% on the surface in the same time period, she should have major issues holding serve consistently.

Furthermore, Beck has lost a break lead 63.2% in the last 12 months which is absolutely horrific - 18.8% above the WTA top 100 mean.  Whilst Muguruza's break deficit recovery stats are only around average at 46.5%, this is easily enough to also place Beck in situation 6 in the WTA version of the low price lay article.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Beck when a double break up in the 1st set (Clear liability when the first break-back comes, full exit point either when the set is back on serve or the end of the set)
Lay Beck when a set and break up in the 2nd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss)
Lay Beck when a break up in the 3rd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss)
Lay Beck's serve when a set up and the set is on serve in the 2nd set (Exit point at the end of the service game, for profit if the break occurs, or for a loss if it does not - I do not mind taking liability out or hedging at 0-40 depending on your tolerance of risk)

Please note that as always, all suggested trades are just recommendations and all trades are taken at your own risk.

Good luck in the markets and stay green!

8th AUGUST 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Backing Lopez when losing on serve is a viable approach today...

It's the quarter-finals of the Masters/Premier events in Canada and as per the rest of the week so far, action gets underway at the later time of 6pm UK time in Toronto for the ATP event, and at the usual 5pm for the WTA tournament in Montreal.

Firstly I wanted to do a quick review of the recommended trades from Wednesday (I was travelling most of the day yesterday so had no time to write a preview).

The following entry point triggers were hit:-

Lay Lu's serve when a set up but the set is on serve in set 2 - WINNING TRADE (first game of set 2)

Lay Watson when a break up in set 1 - 1 LOSING TRADE
Lay Watson's serve when a set up but the set is on serve in set 2 (unless she holds to love in the previous service game) - 2 LOSING TRADES
Lay Watson when a set and break up in set 2 - 1 WINNING TRADE
Lay Watson when a break up in set 3 - 1 WINNING TRADE

From the individual service game lays, we had one winner and two losers.  With the winner being in the ATP, this should balance itself out to be not far from break-even.

From the break up lays, we had two winners and one losers, for huge profit.  Indeed, Watson price went almost straight down from 3.50 starting price to 1.02, before Cibulkova fought back.


We can see from the above graphic that Watson's price hit 6.00 after trading at 1.02, and she hit 4.50 after being very close to winning after that.

Onto today's matches.   I've picked out several matches that interest me based on the stats - as always the statistics mentioned for every match on the card are available daily in the Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet.  
Third on court on the men's card today at around midnight UK time is the clash between home favourite Milos Raonic and Feliciano Lopez.

I quite like the Spaniard's chances of keeping this close at least and Raonic looks a little short at 1.31 for this.  

Clearly, with both players being strong servers, there isn't much likelihood of this match having plentiful amounts of breaks and therefore I wanted to focus on a way of getting the most out of the stats for this match, and getting with Lopez on serve.

Unsurprisingly both players have a high projected hold but Lopez has the higher break point 'clutch' score.  With the pre-match value on him, according to my model, backing Lopez when losing on his serve looks to be the best trading avenue.  This has much less risk than scalping the serve, which far too high-risk and low-reward generally.

Recommended Trade:-

Lay Raonic when he is 0-30 or 15-40 up on the Lopez serve.  (Exit point at 30-30, 40-30 or game to either player, depending on tolerance of risk - personally I like clearing liability at 30-30 and leaving all profit on Lopez until the end of the service game)

When this match comes to a conclusion, David Ferrer and Roger Federer take to the court and Federer is defending an incredible 15-0 head to head record over his 'bunny'.  This is the main reason for his 1.20 starting price.

Federer has improved his return game this year after a large blip in 2013 and in the last 12 months on hard court, he has broken 28.2%.  Ferrer has broken 30.9% but it's the Swiss player with the much stronger serve, holding 89.5% to 78.7% on the surface in the same time period.

The net result of this is that Ferrer has a low projected hold and laying his serve in some situations, if the price allows us, looks viable.

This approach can also be taken on the Spaniard if he leads by a break with a combined score of 77.4%.  As Federer's return stats have improved, so has his break deficit recovery percentage, and at 47.3% his stats are one of the best on Tour.  Ferrer is marginally better at this (48.6%) but Federer is much more solid when a break up, losing this lead just 13.6% in the last 12 months.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Ferrer when a break up in the 1st set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss)
Lay Ferrer when a set and break up in the 2nd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss)
Lay Ferrer when a break up in the 3rd set. (Exit point either when the break-back comes, for profit, or the end of the set, for a loss)
Lay Ferrer's serve when a set up and the set is on serve in the 2nd set (unless he holds the previous service game to love)  (Exit point at the end of the service game, for profit if the break occurs, or for a loss if it does not - with Ferrer having a high break point clutch score I do not mind taking some or all liability out at 0-30, 0-40 or 15-40, depending on your tolerance of risk)

There are several matches in the WTA that also interest me but I'll leave those to the spreadsheet subscribers - certainly there are some very viable trading avenues in the Suarez Navarro/Venus Williams and the Victoria Azarenka/Agnieszka Radwanska matches.

Also in the WTA, Matt's outright back to lay recommendation of Wozniacki outright has traded from 42.0 to 13.0 currently and can be hedged, whilst his other recommendation, Madison Keys, was perhaps unfortunate to lose to Sabine Lisicki.

Please note that as always, all suggested trades are just recommendations and all trades are taken at your own risk.

Good luck in the markets and stay green!

6th AUGUST 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


David Ferrer should be able to take advantage of Michael Russell's limitations today...

Tonight sees the third day of the Masters/Premier events in Canada and as per the rest of the week so far, action gets underway at 4pm UK time in Toronto for the ATP event, and at 5pm for the WTA tournament in Montreal.

Matches are again plentiful so traders can be very selective with the matches, and situations, they choose to get involved in this evening.

Today I will focus on the matches involving players that fit the criteria for my two new articles which assess when it is viable to lay players at low prices in-play - all stats are available, as always, via the Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet  .

In the ATP, there are no surprises regarding the player with the highest combined score.  Today's Stat of the Day on the main page shows Michael Russell loses a break lead 61.5% of the time in the last 12 months at ATP level, and that's due to a combination of having a poor serve and generally choking.

Naturally, the American veteran is heavy underdog against David Ferrer (1.11) which actually represents several ticks of value towards the Spaniard, according to my projected hold model.

With Ferrer having a superb return game, Russell's projected hold is very low for an ATP hard court event, and his combined score when a break up is in the stratosphere - only Klara Koukalova has a higher combined score out of the WTA today!

If there's a situation where we can lay Russell at low prices, when a set and break up, or a break up in the deciding set, this should be one of extreme positive expected value.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Russell's serve blindly when the match is on serve and he is priced under 3.00.
Lay Russell when a set and break up in set 2
Lay Russell when a break up in set 3

Also fitting the criteria here is Tim Smyczek.  The younger American takes on another Spaniard,Feliciano Lopez tonight, and Lopez starts at around 1.44.  

That's maybe a few ticks short for me but nothing outstanding, but all the stats indicate Smyczek should be opposed in-play.

Whilst Lopez only breaks 17.4% on hard court in the last 12 months, Smyczek has one of the worst serves on the ATP Tour, holding a mere 71.4% on today's surface - 7.8% below the ATP hard court mean - in the last 12 months.  This gives Smyczek a relatively low projected hold for today, and should he be struggling to hold, laying his serve when the match is on serve is viable.

Furthermore, Smyczek isn't much worse than his compatriot Russell when a break up.  He's lost a break lead 51.7% in the last 12 months, and with Lopez recovering a break deficit 31.6%, the combined score of 83.3% on Smyczek is more than enough to warrant laying him when a break up.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Smyczek when a break up in set 1
Lay Smyczek when a set and break up in set 2
Lay Smyczek when a break up in set 3

The final ATP match I want to examine from a trading perspective is Yen-Hsun Lu against Tomas Berdych.

Berdych starts as a heavy 1.19 favourite for this which probably slightly flatters him against a competent opponent, but all in-play stats favour the Czech.

Breaking 28.8% on hard courts in the past 12 months, Berdych breaks considerably more than the 20.8% ATP mean, and this reduces Lu's projected hold to around 10% below average.

Both players are strong at recovering deficits, with Lu doing so 44.0% and Berdych 51.7% in the last 12 months.  However, Berdych is much better at protecting break leads, losing a lead a mere 15.6% of the time, whilst Lu does so 28.6%.

This difference of 36.1% for Berdych between his deficit recovery and lead loss percentages makes him the best in-play player on the ATP Tour.

Based on the break-back stats, a combined score of 80.2% on Lu, in addition to a low projected hold, makes it highly viable to lay Lu in various situations today.

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Lu's serve when a set up but the set is on serve in set 2
Lay Lu when a set and break up in set 2
Lay Lu when a break up in set 3

In the WTA, there are various matches that also fit the bill for viable trading situations, based on my new articles:-

Watson (3.31) vs Cibulkova (1.40)

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Watson when a break up in set 1
Lay Watson's serve when a set up but the set is on serve in set 2 (unless she holds to love in the previous service game)
Lay Watson when a set and break up in set 2
Lay Watson when a break up in set 3

Wozniacki (1.21) vs Koukalova (5.34)

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Koukalova's serve when a set up but the set is on serve in set 2 (unless she holds to love in the previous service game)
Lay Koukalova when a set and break up in set 2
Lay Koukalova when a break up in set 3

Putintseva (6.72) vs Williams V (1.15)

Recommended Trades:-

Lay Putintseva's serve when a set up but the set is on serve in set 2 (unless she holds to love in the previous service game)
Lay Putintseva when a set and break up in set 2
Lay Putintseva when a break up in set 3


Good luck in the markets and stay green!

5th AUGUST 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Fabio Fognini should struggle to hold consistently against Mikhail Youzhny...

It's day two of the Masters/Premier events in Canada and action gets underway at 4pm UK time inToronto for the ATP event, and at 5pm for the WTA tournament in Montreal.

There's 14 men's matches and 16 women's matches on the card and with there being plenty of matches, and around half streamed, there should be plenty of trading opportunities this evening.

Generally, trading conditions are slightly better in the men's event, and I will focus on some of the matches which the Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet has highlighted to be likely to have breaks and swings.

One of the early matches where there could be breaks is the clash between Yen-Hsun Lu and Marcel Granollers, with the Spaniard unimpressive on hard courts in the last 12 months.

Granollers has held just 71.5% of the time on hard court in this time period, breaking 23.3%.  Lu's return stats are relatively strong at 26.6% and he starts favourite at around 1.74, which I make some value.

The net result of this is that Granollers has a low projected hold for the match, and opposing his serve should be lucrative today.  He loses a break lead 36.9% in the last 12 months, and Lu's deficit recovery stats are impressive at 44.0%.  This combined score of 80.9% is easily enough to warrant laying Granollers a break up, and fits the criteria superbly for low-priced lays based on my recent article.

Another player that fits the bill in this area is Fabio Fognini (above, pictured).  Tonight the Italian takes on Mikhail Youzhny, who has had a poor 2014 generally, but is a better player on the surface, and the Russian starts at around 1.88 for this.

Both players have low projected holds for this match, as both are strong on return, breaking around 27% each in the last 12 months on the surface.  Youzhny, who holds 77% to Fognini's 71%, looks to represent some value on this basis.

Laying the Fognini serve appeals, especially when a break up.  For a top 20 player, his stats for losing break leads are horrific, doing so 40.5% in the last 12 months. 

The final men's match I want to look at is Radek Stepanek versus Gael Monfils.  Both players start at around evens apiece for this and I feel that gives a bit of value on Stepanek, with Monfils having missed recent tournaments, not having played since his 2nd round exit to Jiri Vesely at Wimbledon.

Much of this depends on how fit Monfils is.  With the match being streamed, this should be relatively straightforward to gauge, but based on the stats, both players should hold less than the tour average.

Stepanek generally struggles to hold onto break leads, losing them 43.7% in the last 12 months.  As the Czech veteran has aged, it's his serve that has deteriorated markedly, whilst his return game remains strong.  Monfils recovers a break deficit 39.2% in the same time period, and assuming Monfils looks fit and competitive, laying Stepanek a break up appeals.

There isn't a bundle of outstanding opportunities in the WTA but one match I feel could have breaks and be swingy is one of the higher profile matches on the card, where Victoria Azarenka takes on Alize Cornet.

Both players have been in better spots in their career, with Azarenka - who starts as favourite at around 1.45 - feeling her way back into competition after a prolonged absence, whilst Cornet has struggled since defeating Serena Williams at Wimbledon.

Projected holds are below WTA hard court average, with Azarenka's only slightly below but Cornet's barely over 50%.  Laying the Cornet serve generally appeals, whether it's in individual service games or when a break up.

It's when a break down that both players excel, with Azarenka recovering a deficit 58.9% of the time, and Cornet a superb 61.1% in the last 12 months.  This takes combined scores over the required 101 mark for both players, so laying either player a break up would be viable here.  Laying Cornet a set and break up, as per my new WTA article also appeals.

Good luck in the markets and stay green!

1st AUGUST 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Juan Monaco should have some joy on the Andreas Seppi serve today...

Today's action on the clay in Kitzbuhel starts at 11am UK time (in around 30 minutes time) with two rain-delayed quarter finals to be played first, before the semi-finals later today.

I must say that I find it ridiculous that the Kitzbuhel organisers need to get everything crammed in by Saturday to reward players making either poor or surface orientated scheduling decisions, as they all need to fly over after playing on a clay event at altitude, to North America to play a series of hard court tournaments.  

Both quarter-finals start at 11am with the Goffin/Gonzalez semi-final due to start at 12:30, and presumably the two other quarter-final winners playing after that.

The quarter-final between Juan Monaco (above, pictured) and Andreas Seppi is an intriguing one and I think there is likely to be breaks and swings here.

Both players win 2-0 a fair bit less than average, so laying the winner of the first set could yield dividends, whilst my projected hold percentages indicate both players' serves are vulnerable.

Monaco edges two projected holds so his status as favourite is justified, although I feel 1.68 on him is a little short.  However, Seppi's projected hold is low enough to warrant attention for opposing his serve as well - the Rolling Projected Holds in today's Tier Two Spreadsheet indicate that if either player is struggling to hold, breaks are more likely than average to follow.

Furthermore, both players are worse than average at maintaining break leads, and much better than average (particularly Monaco) at recovering break deficits, so laying the player a break up here also appeals.  Further entry points could be a laying either player if they're a set and break up today.

The second quarter-final is between 2013 champion Marcel Granollers and home favourite Dominic Thiem and I'm surprised to see Thiem at 1.73 in what I make to be pretty much an even money match.

There's a cigarette paper between the projected holds and very little between break point 'clutch' scores and break-back percentages as well.  All of these are around average so actual trading points are limited, but with Granollers strong in deciders and having an excellent record at taking at least a set when an underdog, I quite like the 2-1 correct scoreline in the Spaniard's favour here.

The first semi-final scheduled is between Challenger sensation David Goffin and Challenger regularMaximo Gonzalez and based on clay stats in Challengers, there's no comparison between these two.

Goffin has held 10.9% more and broken 13.5% more in Challengers in the past year and this makes his price of 1.34 very generous indeed.  He also has a very strong record at covering both set and game handicap lines - according to the Ultimate Pre-Match Betting Spreadsheet - when favourite and backing him in either guise looks a solid plan today.

As for trading angles, I feel opposition of the Gonzalez serve, with Goffin's return game being superb currently, is the way to go here.

Good luck in the markets and stay green!


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