OTW Extra Email Archive - December 2020

Good news for the New Year...

Thursday 17th December 2020

In your Ones to Watch EXTRA email today:

  • Evidence for backing outsiders…
  • Good news for the New Year…
  • Coming soon – Ones to Watch in 2021

That was the year that was…

We can’t begin any look back over 2020 without acknowledging the coronavirus pandemic. It has had a massive impact on all areas of life this year, and continues to do so.

In times of hardship, sport is often something that many turn to for solace, distraction, hope, and entertainment. But such is the nature of COVID-19, the sport we know and love was also hit hard.

I never thought I’d see Wimbledon called off. The last time it happened was in World War II. That pretty much says it all.

The Grand Slam, ATP & WTA tennis calendar was completely scrubbed out from mid-March all the way through to the end of July. And a stack of autumn events in Asia were also cancelled, too. Including the women’s end-of-season championships in Shenzhen, China.

Looking back now, it’s a massive achievement that the other three Grand Slams all got played. The Australian Open had already gone ahead as normal in January. The French Open relocated from May to the end of September. And the US Open took place in late August, with no fans allowed at the venue.

Overall, 2020 saw a total of 56 tournaments played. Compare that to 2019’s roster of 125 events, and you can see how badly hit the tennis calendar was.

Two big success stories…

Any Ones to Watch year is going to be defined by the big wins. That’s what I go after with my tournament selections: appealing outsiders at attractive Each Way prices.

My mantra is always, ‘it only takes one’…

This year we hit on not one but two Big Ones. Sofia Kenin won the Australian Open at 50/1. And teenager Iga Swiatek won the French Open at a top-price 100/1. Kenin was also a 50/1 runner-up at the French Open.

  • Both Kenin and Swiatek featured in our pre-season Ones to Watch in 2020 report, which was sent for free to all Ones to Watch EXTRA readers last Christmas. My new, Ones to Watch in 2021 report will be with you in the first week of January 

The evidence for backing outsiders…

Every week of each tennis season, for the last five years, I’ve been recording the Outright Winner prices of every player on tour and at all the Grand Slams.

I gather up the results for every event and the pre-tournament price for every trophy winner and every runner-up.

And every year, this data reminds us that our quest for a Big One is grounded in facts: avoiding short prices on favourites, and instead hunting at the larger end of the odds, is very much a worthwhile pursuit.

Here are the figures of encouragement, for this year, and each of the last five seasons.

Tournament Winners & Runners-Up:

Tournament Winners & Runners-Up


T = Tournaments
W 10/1+ = Winners @ 10/1+
W < 9/1 = Winners @ 9/1 or less
R-U 10/1+ =Runners-Up @ 10/1+
R-U < 9/1 = Runners-Up @ 9/1 or less
AV. = Average

Tournament Finalists:

Tournament Finalists


F = Finalists
F < 9/1 = Finalists @ 9/1 or less
F 10/1+ = Finalists @ 10/1+
F 50/1+ = Finalists @ 50/1+
F 100/1+ = Finalists @ 100/1+
AV. = Average

Those numbers tell us that the majority of tournaments (60.41%) feature a player in the final at double-figure odds of 10/1+.

And when we look at the 50/1+ and 100/1+ figures, things get very interesting…

In particular, a total of 67 finalists recorded at odds of 100/1+ over that five-year period.

That means, on average, 11.92% of tournaments are producing a player in a final at odds of 100/1+. To my eyes, that’s an extremely encouraging and exciting one-in-10 figure.

Needless to say, you & I will be continuing the big-odds mission next season…

Good news for the New Year…

The fledgling 2021 men’s calendar has been released today. And it’s good news. With the season set to start in the first week of January. And the Australian Open moved to February. A women’s announcement for the WTA Tour should follow soon, too.

Here’s what the ATP have announced today:

2021 ATP Tour Calendar

That’ll be perfect timing for our new, Ones to Watch in 2021 report…

After this season’s list featured Kenin and Swiatek, to name but two. We’ll be looking to latch on to the young & improving players to follow at big prices next season.

I’ll be delivering that 2021 player list to you in the first week of January.

Lots to look forward to, then, as we head towards the start of the new season.

Until then, let me take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas, and an even happier New Year.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch Extra