It’s a week now since Rafael Nadal heroically beat Novak Djokovic in the US Open final and I’ve decided to take a look back and see whether it was a typical US Open tournament or not and how it compares to previous years.
Tennis Trading forms a large part of my betting activity but I didn’t trade as much this year for various reasons. The main one being me valuing my sleep much more than previous years! There were however matches particularly WTA ones that I know I would have entered expecting a comeback by the losing player and a possible flip flop in the odds but these comebacks appeared few and far between.
The Sultan at Centre Court Trading also reported he had a streak of 22 losing trades in a row where he was expecting comebacks that just didn’t materialize. Trading can seem easy at times and losing streaks not typically as large as with betting but trading is also subject to variance and big losing streaks although less likely, are possible.
I think it’s important not only to remember this but to try and find some sort of reasoning to prevent this in future. US Open courts are among the fastest and favour the bigger servers making rallies shorter on average and perhaps this makes the tournament less favourable for trading.
I decided to do a comparison of some of the stats from this year’s US Open tournament with the previous 4 years. The data was taken from tennisdata.co.uk and I did some of my own calculations on it using excel. The profit/loss is worked out from a 10 unit level stake and the odds used are from Pinnacle in all years except 2009 where only bet365 data was available. You can see the results below:
The first thing to note is that you can rack up some pretty big losses backing underdogs at level stakes and it would make sense to err on the side of backing the favourite on average. I have seen profitable tipsters around the internet who do well looking for value on outsiders in smaller tournaments on the tour that had bad US Opens and these stats would suggest it’s much better to steer clear from underdogs in the US open. I would expect the results in the other slams to be similar particularly at Wimbledon and will do some further analysis on this soon.
This year’s men’s tournament was in fact the only year that backing underdogs to a level stake returned a profit in the last 5 years. I doubt there’s anything in this and it’s just variance. One extra big winner on an outsider can turn this from a loss to a profit.
What I do think is interesting is the number of straight sets victories. In the men’s the last 2 years have been considerably lower in the mid 50’s compared with mid 60’s in 2009-12. I’m wondering if there is a reason for this. Serve has certainly been less dominant in the last few years and it is possible that the courts are slower here than they have been previously. This would lead me to believe that there could have been some pretty decent trading opportunities in the men’s game this year.
There were 97 straight sets victories in the women’s which is higher than any of the previous 4 years. This confirms to me that it was a particularly poor tournament for trading WTA and with the number of straight sets victories consistently high for the women I will certainly trade this tournament much more cautiously in future years.
Another thing to note is the fact that there were no retirements in the women’s US Open this year! I not only find this incredible but also the fact that the number of women’s retirements have been lower than the men’s in all of the previous 4 years tournaments too. Women are notorious for medical timeouts and although I have no stats on the number compared with the retirements I’m pretty confident that backing women who do call for the timeouts would prove a profitable strategy.
Overall, there are some differences but this year’s US open doesn’t seem to be too different to previous years and it is clearly a tournament for backing favourites. It’s quite remarkable just how little variance there is between the number of favourites winning compared with the number of underdogs especially in the women’s tournament. You are basically looking at just short of 100 favourites winnng out of 127 each year and it’s important to remember this when betting/trading the US Open. It will be interesting to see how these same stats compare in the other 3 grand slams which I will also begin work on.