Tennis Betting Advice - November 2018

That was the year that was…

Wednesday 21st November 2018

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • Number crunching…
  • In a parallel universe…
  • 2019 season, coming soon…

That was the year that was…

Before the New Year’s Eve fancy dress outfit is even out of the wardrobe, the first serves of the new season will have been hit…

We don’t have long to wait until the first tournaments of 2019 occupy our thoughts.

First of all, though, a bit of reflection on the campaign just ended…

Unlike 2017, which was a pretty golden one for our Ones to Watch picks, 2018 didn’t catch light in quite the same way.

But we’re still standing. And like a striker on a scoring drought, we should only be worried if we’re not getting chances. And we’re certainly getting plenty of those…

Following on from my price-based number crunching from earlier in the week, I’ve been looking at the tournament performance of our specific Ones to Watch Outright Winner (predominantly Each Way) selections.

In the 2018 season, we had 102 weekly tournament Outright Winner picks, across 63 tournaments.

  • Note: I have excluded players that withdrew from tournaments before playing any of their matches. I’ve also taken out our winning Outright picks Naomi Osaka (US Open @ 5/1) and Aryna Sabalenka (WTA Wuhan @ 13/5), as both bets weren’t made until the Semi Final stage

From 102 picks:

  • 42 of our players made the Quarter Finals or better (41%)
  • 19 made the Semi Finals or better (19%)
  • 10 made the Finals (10%), with 3 winning and 7 finishing as runner-up

Broken down into separate rounds (eg. when they exited the tournament), our players reached the following stages:

  • 1st Round defeats = 18
  • 2nd, 3rd or 4th Round = 42
  • Quarter Finals only = 23
  • Semi Finals = 9
  • Runners-up = 7
  • Winners = 3

Like I said, we’re getting plenty of chances. Lots of Quarter Finals. A healthy number of Semi Final appearances. And at the double-figure, Each Way prices that we tend to go for, 10% of picks making the Finals is good going, too.

Here are those 10 finalists:

January, WTA Shenzhen:
Katerina Siniakova @ 22/1 – EACH WAY PAYOUT (runner-up)

January, Australian Open (Men’s):
Marin Cilic @ 30/1 – EACH WAY PAYOUT (runner-up)

March, WTA Indian Wells:
Daria Kasatkina @ 80/1 – EACH WAY PAYOUT (runner-up)

April, ATP Houston:
Tennys Sandgren @ 33/1 – EACH WAY PAYOUT (runner-up)
Steve Johnson @ 18/1 – WON

June, French Open (Women's):
Sloane Stephens @ 25/1 – EACH WAY PAYOUT (runner-up)

September, WTA Tashkent:
Margarita Gasparyan @ 19/1 – WON

October, WTA Hong Kong:
Qiang Wang @ 10/1 – EACH WAY PAYOUT (runner-up)

October, WTA Moscow:
Daria Kasatkina @ 22/1 – WON

October, WTA Elite Trophy, Zhuhai:
Qiang Wang @ 8/1 (Win Only) – LOST

A theme that stands out this year is the amount of runner-up (Each Way place) payouts we had. Seven of our 10 finalists had to settle for the second place trophy.

Compare that to last season, where all six of our finalists went the whole way and won the trophy Outright.

In a nutshell, that’s been the big difference this season.

Near misses – but no excuses…

My end-of-season stocktaking has brought back a few memories of close calls and near misses.

As well as the finalists, we have the Semi Final stories that could have been oh-so-different. Nail-biters that went to a final set and really could have gone either way, often only a point or game away from securing us an Each Way place payout (at least) by reaching the Final…

Cases in point here include:

  • Timea Babos’ “remarkable recovery” after losing the first set 1-6 to our 25/1 pick Sachia Vickery in the Monterrey semi final…
  • Or Caroline Wozniacki saving Match Point in the semi final against our 12/1 selection Angelique Kerber in Eastbourne…
  • I could go on. There were others. Like Maria Sakkari’s “dramatic turnaround” from 3-6, 1-4 down in the semi final against our 33/1 pick Danielle Collins in San Jose…

Maybe I’ll wake up and those matches will all have been a figment of my imagination. Perhaps, somewhere, in a parallel tennis universe, those 25/1, 12/1, 40/1 and 33/1 shots went on to hold the trophies aloft…

But that’s quite enough of that. Throw a glass of cold water in my face. Slap me, if necessary.

Because, of course… This is the game we play.

Other weeks, other tournaments, other seasons even – it goes our way and more.

  • Margarita Gasparyan’s 19/1 win in Tashkent is a prime example of things swinging in our favour. On that occasion, the opponent was left with their head in their hands. In the 2nd Round, our pick Gasparyan came from 0-4 down in the final set v Tatjana Maria... and went on to win the whole tournament

The overall message is this:

We are getting players in the right positions. And as outlined in this week’s Season Review, our tactic of going for the big prices is the right one.

We cannot control how a player performs. But we can control which players we back. And we can choose to only bet when the Outright Winner prices and Each Way terms are in our favour.

Coming soon – new season, new opportunities…

I have a PMA. A Positive Mental Attitude. We’re doing lots right. There’s lots to look forward to as 2019 approaches.

We’ll be looking to push on in the new season. On the hunt for the tournament outsiders, the match upsets – and the big prices.

I’ve started my pre-season work already. I’ll be in touch again soon with more on our plans for 2019…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch