Tennis Betting Advice - October 2020

French Open: Day 13 – Men’s Semi Finals…

Friday 9th October 2020

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • French Open – Day 13…
  • Men’s Semi Finals…
  • Play starts 2pm…

Welcome to Day 13 of the French Open…

A good day…

We said yesterday was a big day, maybe our biggest of the year.

It turned out to be a very good day. One of the best we’ve ever had.

Iga Swiatek swept aside Nadia Podoroska 6-2, 6-1 to reach a first Grand Slam final.

Sofia Kenin battled past Petra Kvitova 6-4, 7-5 to reach a second Slam final of the year.

We’ve got two big-odds Ones to Watch picks through to play each other in the final. It’s a win-win situation if ever there was one. Even more so, with both women backed Each Way.

It doesn’t really get much better than that.

These occasions don’t come along very often. All the toil and dry spells are worth it when they do. Enjoy the final on Saturday – as I’m sure you will…

What’s your price?

Steve L emailed in last night. Steve’s on Swiatek at 50/1 and Kenin at 40/1. He’s planning to have a beer at the weekend…

Likewise, long-time Ones to Watch follower Kenny:

“Followed you for ages … Ok, can go weeks hitting the bar but as you say, at big prices these things happen … and this week, well what can I say....on Swiatek at 66s and on Kenin at 40s. Can sit back Saturday afternoon with a cold beer and enjoy the match”

Big prices (and cold beers) seem to be the theme.

David C has 80/1 for Swiatek and 33/1 for Kenin. Fantastic stuff.

Sitting at home at my desk, there’s nothing that gives me more pleasure than hearing about the big prices you’ve managed to scoop up.

  • Did anyone get the 100/1 on Swiatek on day one? How is your French Open Outright Winner book looking? I would genuinely love to know. Message me at:

Gabriel wrote in yesterday and told me to enjoy my evening. I did, thank you. A celebratory walk through the neighbourhood, during which I discovered that Co-Op have got a deal on: pizza & beer for a fiver. San Miguel under my arm, I strolled home a happy man. Simple pleasures.

Avoid 1/100 shots. Always.

Outsider prices of 100/1 are in our Ones to Watch wheelhouse. Invert those odds, and bets at the ridiculously short 1/100 are most certainly not…

That requires risking £100 to win £1. Crazy.

No matter what anyone tells you, there is no such thing as ‘buying money.’

Case in point: Petra Kvitova for the Most Aces yesterday…

Going into the semi final v Kenin, the Czech player had hit more aces than any other woman in the tournament. Paddy Power & Betfair Sportsbook duly priced up Kvitova as the as-short-as-it-gets 1/100 favourite to land the Most Aces in the match.

The final aces tally? Kvitova 2, Kenin 3.

A reminder that sometimes, the best bet is no bet at all.

  • In the other semi final on Thursday, there were zero aces and zero double faults between Swiatek and Podoroska. We’ll look out for those markets for any potential value in the weekend finals

Men’s Semi Finals today…

The men’s final four take to Court Philippe-Chatrier today. The schedule is:

Diego Schwartzman v Rafael Nadal – 2pm

Novak Djokovic v Stefanos Tsitsipas – 5pm+

Once again, two of the big names are in contention for the title. Three-time reigning champion Nadal has won the French Open a record 12 times. World no.1 Djokovic has won five of the last eight men’s Grand Slam titles.

The pre-tournament Outright Winner prices for these guys were:

Nadal 11/10 (2.1)
Djokovic 21/10 (3.1)
Tsitsipas 33/1 (34.0)
Schwartzman 66/1 (67.0)

Tsitsipas and Schwartzman are both looking to reach a first Grand Slam final. Fans of those two players, keen underdog backers, and optimists, will draw hope from three factors going into this afternoon’s matches…

1. Is Djokovic injured – and if so, how bad is it? Or is he playing possum?

2. Tsitsipas has a 3-3 head-to-head record v Djokovic. This will be their first meeting in a Grand Slam

3. Schwartzman beat Nadal 2-0 in Rome last month. Recording a first win over Rafa in 10 career attempts

Today’s Match Winner prices:

Nadal 1/7 (1.14), Schwartzman 5/1 (6.0)

Djokovic 3/10 (1.3), Tsitsipas 5/2 (3.5)

When Schwartzman beat Rafa last month, the upset was 14/1. Today’s 5/1 quote is noticeably shorter – while the challenge of beating Nadal at Roland Garros over five sets is significantly greater.

Check the small-print…

If you fancy taking the Tsitsipas route today, then a morsel of advice would be to go against my usual mantra of only placing Match Winner bets with bookies that offer the ‘bet void’ rule. And instead look to those firms that pay out if one set has been completed…

In other words, if Djokovic is struggling badly with any injury, then there’s a chance that he could retire during the match, handing the victory to Tsitsipas.

In those circumstances, the following firms would pay out on the ‘winner’ if one set has been completed:

Ladbrokes, Coral, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, Betfred, 888 Sport, Unibet, Sportingbet, Bwin. (This list is not conclusive, so check with your own bookmaker for exact rules & wording.)

Skybet’s terms suggest that you’d get the winning payout on Tsitsipas if Djokovic retired at any point in the match:

Sky Bet will refund all losing match result bets, if the player you have bet on has retired due to injury at any point during the match. Bets on the player who is deemed to be the winner under tournament rules as a result of the retirement will still stand.

While Bet365 have recently come up with a Tennis Retirement Guarantee:

1. Place a pre-match single bet on the To Win Match market for Singles matches from any ATP, WTA or Grand Slam event.

2. If the opposing player retires hurt we will pay out your bet as a winner, with your stake returned as cash and winnings paid as Bet Credits.

First Set crucial…

As the old adage goes, the first set is massive. Especially if you’re trying to beat one of the big boys like Nadal or Djokovic in a five-set match. Go a set down, and an already-tough task becomes a lot harder.

I like the First Set Winner market today. That’s my take on the underdog approach for these semi finals…

Nadal started cold (literally) in his night match v Jannik Sinner. The Italian teenager served for the opening set at 6-5, before losing it on a tiebreak. Rafa gets an afternoon slot today, but it can sometimes take the great man a while to go through the gears these days. Schwartzman will know he needs to come out aggressive.

Pablo Carreno-Busta took the first set against Djokovic in the quarter finals. Novak was wincing and grimacing throughout the early stages. Afterwards, the Serbian said the pain faded as the match went on and his body warmed up. Again, Tsitsipas will know the importance of needing to make a good start…

Ones to Watch:

Diego Schwartzman v Rafael Nadal

  • First Set Winner: Schwartzman is 3/1 (4.0) with Boylesports, 14/5 (3.8) Ladbrokes, Coral, 11/4 (3.75) Bet365, Paddy  Power, Betfair Sportsbook, 13/5 (3.6) BetVictor, 5/2 (3.5) Betfred

Novak Djokovic v Stefanos Tsitsipas

  • First Set Winner: Tsitsipas is 7/4 (2.75) with Boylesports, 888 Sport, Unibet,  13/8 (2.63) in general

Play starts from 2pm.

You can watch live on the Eurosport channels, website & app. On selected bookie websites with a funded account. And on ITV4.

I’ll be back on Saturday morning with your Day 14 email.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch