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Read our experts’ betting tips and match predictions

Thanks to technological innovations enabling in-play betting and making the sport more accessible than ever before, the popularity of tennis betting has exploded over the past few years and live-tennis.com is dedicated to bringing you all the analysis and information you need to help make betting on tennis fun and profitable.

With literally hundreds of tennis matches taking place all over the world every day, from superstars like Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic facing off on Centre Court at Wimbledon to lower-ranked journeymen and women battling it out for a precious handful of points in distant ITFs, there’s never a shortage of tennis markets. 

Our team of tennis analysts guides you to the best markets and opportunities. Every day our tipsters hand-pick the best bets across men’s and women’s matches in our daily tips, as well as providing in-depth analysis and predictions for individual key matches. Live-tennis.com also breaks down the draws for ATP and WTA tournaments and identifies the contenders, predicting outright winners and ultimate champions.  
Wherever professional tennis is being played, a range of outright and in-play betting markets are available as well as live streaming for the majority of Grand Slam, ATP, WTA and Challenger matches. To help you navigate those markets, the tipsters here at live-tennis.com are always keeping an eye on player form and fitness as well as bringing years of experience and expertise in covering tennis – all boiled down into daily tips, outright tips and individual match analysis and predictions available right here. 

What types of tennis tips do you post?

Tennis accumulators

Accumulator or multiple bets are a great way to bet on tennis because the sport involves so many matches played on a daily basis across so many different tournaments, with a range of markets available on each one. Couple that with the fact that each match has a winner and a loser, and that results overall tend to follow the rankings, and accumulators can allow you to turn a profit even on a day like the first Monday of Wimbledon when the top players will generally be overwhelmingly favoured to win. 

Live-tennis.com posts multiple tennis tips every day, whether in the form of in-depth analysis of individual matches or our daily round-up of the best tips which typically involve a selection of matches and markets across the day’s action. For matches at the biggest events or involving the biggest players, our tipsters will often pick out the five best bets available on one match. You can follow our recommendations for a tennis accumulator or create your own by cherry-picking from the range of tennis tips on offer – it’s up to you.

Tennis bets of the day

Daily tips from live-tennis.com involve one of our team of tipsters combing through the available selection of matches and the markets available on those matches to bring you not one but three of the best bets we have picked out on the day’s tennis. 

With the ATP World Tour playing over 60 tournaments in 31 countries during an 11-month season, while the WTA Tour comprises 50-60 tournaments played around the world between January and November, the daily tips often involve ATP and WTA tennis matches – after all, tennis is a sport with some of the biggest individual star athletes in the world. And during the four Grand Slams, the showcase events of the sport which see the eyes of the global media and sport-watching public fixed on Melbourne in January, Paris in June, London in July and New York in September, the daily tips often focus on those events. The live-tennis.com team brings you the best bets of the day from each day of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open as well as the biggest Masters 1000 and WTA Premier tournaments such as Indian Wells and the Madrid Open.

Tennis match predictions

With tennis’ unique scoring format which means that the outcome is never certain until the last ball bounces twice, in-play betting enabling you to take advantage of every twist and turn in a match and the sheer volume of markets available on any given match, from picking player x to lose the first set in a tie break to backing player b to serve the most double faults in the deciding set, there’s arguably no sport where it’s more important or more potentially profitable to delve into the nuances of each match. 

The form and fitness of the players, the way their tactics and technique help or hinder them on a particular surface or in particular conditions and the all-important ‘match-up’ – how one player’s game interacts with another’s, neutralizing strengths and exposing weaknesses – are all significant factors it’s important to understand when placing a bet on a given match. If Anett Kontaveit is up a set and two breaks on Caroline Wozniacki in the second round of Wimbledon, should you cash out your bet on Kontaveit to win or keep faith in the underdog to seal the deal? Andy Murray might have reached the Australian Open final five times, but were there clues in his form at his last tournament which suggest he might be vulnerable to an early upset at the hands of an inspired serve-and-volley player? 

There’s no substitute for expertise or for in-depth analysis when facing questions like these – that’s why live-tennis.com is dedicated to previewing as many matches involving key players as we can, considering all the possibilities, looking at the match-up from every angle and, finally, predicting the winner and finding the best bet on that match. 

Outright tournament tips

There’s outright betting on the winner of matches – but there’s also outright betting on the winners (and/or finalists and semi-finalists) of tournaments, and with each week typically bringing a fresh slate of multiple ATP World Tour and WTA Tour matches being played around the globe, it’s another type of tennis betting tip that the live-tennis.com team routinely offer our readers.

Breaking down the draw and looking at the form and history of each player, and the route they would have to take to make it out of their quarter and reach the semi-finals, tennis experts identify the likeliest (and sometimes the unlikeliest) contenders for the title – and predict the champion. 

But there’s more than just picking the winner. For bigger tournaments, such as the four Grand Slams and the larger Masters 1000 Series/Premier combined events such as Indian Wells, the Miami Open and the Madrid Open, there’s a wider range of event outright markets available such as picking the winner of each quarter – also covered by our tournament tips.

Live-tennis.com also aims to be a wide-angle lens on the tennis season and keep you abreast of the latest best bets on the big events looming in the distance with updated outright tips on the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open

What is the best tennis betting strategy?

Each of the three main surfaces on which tennis matches are played on throughout the year – clay, grass and indoor or outdoor hard courts – has its own intricacies and vagaries, so it’s important that you have a different approach to each one and know what to look for in terms of player strengths and weaknesses that will be rewarded and punished by each.  

While the best players, like Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Garbine Muguruza and Novak Djokovic, can play well on all surfaces, each one nevertheless presents a different challenge and can affect match-ups in different ways. 

Clay

Clay courts are the great leveller of tennis – a surface that neutralizes some of the strokes and shots which are the most straightforward way to win points on other surfaces, and instead rewards fundamental all-court skills. 

The vast majority of clay courts are not natural clay but crushed brick, which has the effect of slowing down the ball and causing it to bounce higher. Players who excel at imparting a lot of topspin on the ball – like French Open champions Rafael Nadal or Jelena Ostapenko - can thus cause the ball to kick up viciously off the surface, allowing them to hit the ball very hard without risking an error and pushing their opponents back off the baseline. This means that in turn they can wear down their opponents in long punishing rallies, or open up space to finish the point with a drop shot or by attacking the net. 

The footwork is also different on clay, which requires players to slide into the ball. Movement is the most significant aspect of clay-court tennis, so avoid backing players who rely on winning points with first-strike tennis and short points – big servers and flat hitters. 

All clay courts are not created equal, however. While the majority of clay is red, some tournaments like WTA Charleston are still played on green clay, which is a faster surface. And the Madrid Open, while played on red clay, is a major event where the altitude creates unique, slippery conditions which can favour flatter strikers of the ball. 

Grass

Unlike clay courts, which are played on more or less year-round and on the ATP World Tour and WTA Tour for a consolidated European swing lasting for well over two months and building up to the French Open, grass has become a specialised surface which is only briefly seen on the tennis calendar. 

There are just three weeks between the end of the French Open and the start of Wimbledon, which is why you will see top players crowding the courts of the well-established events in Birmingham, Queen’s Club, Eastbourne and Halle in an attempt to quickly tune up their games for the biggest tournament of the year – Wimbledon.

Grass, especially at Wimbledon, has slowed in recent years but still rewards big servers and aggressive tennis like no other surface. The ball stays low as it skids off the turf, meaning that tall players who struggle to get low to the ball can be vulnerable if dragged into rallies, and a mastery of backhand slice in particular becomes a significant weapon in a player’s arsenal. Having the skills and the audacity to push forward inside the baseline and finish the point off at net is never more important than on a grass court, but with so little tennis played on the surface throughout the year, grass-court matches produce more, and more spectacular, upsets than any other. 

Hard court

The majority of ATP World Tour and WTA Tour tennis played throughout the season takes place on a hard court somewhere – but there are hard courts and hard courts, and it’s important to understand the characteristics governing the conditions at each event. 

Indoor hard courts, such as those in St Peterburg or at the Paris Masters, are often among the fastest surfaces but are also isolated from the vagaries of wind and weather, so players with high ball tosses often excel at those events, like Tomas Berdych and Petra Kvitova. But major showcase events like the season-ending championships in Singapore and London are often played on much slower courts as tournament organizers try to avoid one-note serve-fests, and the champions there are often players who can succeed in powering the ball through the court. 

Some of the fastest outdoor hard courts of the year are to be found in Australia, while American hard courts are often more gritty and slow, compounded by the fact that the big events at Indian Wells, Miami, Montreal/Toronto, Cincinnati and New York are often played in humid conditions. Meanwhile, more and more events are being played on Asian hard courts, especially in China, and issues of air quality and variances in surface speed – Shanghai is very fast, for example, but Beijing slow – can lead to some surprising results.

When it comes to hard-court tennis, the best approach is to consider the unique characteristics of the event in question and how a player has traditionally performed at similar events. This is where our in-depth match and tournament analysis comes in!

Tennis betting stats

There are a wealth of tennis-related stats available online, with the ATP World Tour and WTA Tour keeping detailed accounts of the relative successes and failures of players across a number of categories. 

Key tennis stats typically track two main categories: A player’s success on serve and return, and their degree of accuracy as measured by the number of winners and unforced errors they hit. At Wimbledon, for example, the men's matches see around 85% of service games held by the server.

How to bet on tennis

Tennis is a hugely popular sport for gamblers because the parameters of the sport are on the one hand deceptively simple – two players, or two teams in the case of doubles, going head-to-head within a scoring system that doesn’t allow for the possibility of a draw, with the match continuing until there is a single winner. 

The simplest way to bet on tennis, therefore, is simply to predict the winner of an individual match. There is no such thing as a draw in tennis: One player wins and the other loses. Even if player a is unable to take the court to contest the match (this is known as a ‘walkover’) or is forced to withdraw halfway through the match (‘retires’), it counts as a victory for their opponent.

‘Rankings don’t lie’ is a phrase you will often hear from the lips of commentators and pundits on TV. What that cliché is trying to express is the fact that the majority of the time, a higher-ranked player will beat a lower-ranked one. If player a is ranked, say, world no. 19 and his opponent player be is ranked world no. 54, that means that over the past 52 weeks, player a has accumulated more ranking points, either by winning more matches or by playing and recording victories at higher-level events.

As a rule, therefore, the higher-ranked player will generally be considered more likely to win the match and bookmakers will offer lower, or ‘shorter’, odds on them doing so. For example, Madison Keys was recently scheduled to face Kiki Bertens in the Charleston Open semifinals. Keys has both a higher current ranking and a higher career-best ranking, and has won three titles at WTA Premier level to Bertens’s zero; she also has a better record at the tournament in question, having been a runner-up in Charleston in 2015. She was therefore priced at 1.81 to win the match, meaning that a bet of £10 on Keys returns £18 if she won (£8 profit). Bertens was considered less likely to win the match and was therefore priced at 2.2, with a bet of £10 returning £22 if she wins (£12 profit). 

The goal of betting on tennis, therefore, is to identify an outcome which bookmakers consider to be relatively unlikely, but which you believe there is adequate reason to anticipate. 

In the case of the Keys vs Bertens match outlined above, you might feel that because Charleston is played on clay and Bertens is a clay-court specialist with a strong record on that surface (all three of her WTA titles have come on clay courts, and she has made the semi-finals of the clay-court French Open), in addition to the inconsistency inherent in an all-out attacking game like that of Keys, Bertens has a good enough chance of pulling off a surprise win over the higher-ranked player to make it worth backing her at 2.2. As it transpires, Bertens did win but only after saving match points. If you had held your nerve with that one, you could have made a good profit. 

Picking the winner of an individual match is the simplest kind of tennis bet, and there are a huge range of different ways to bet on a tennis match or a tennis tournament. But they all boil down to the same fundamental principle: Trying to identify an outcome which the bookmakers think is unlikely to happen, but which you believe has a good chance of happening. 

Bookmakers get their odds from a team of experts who follow the sport closely, analyse the available data and use their knowledge of each player’s strengths, weaknesses, history and form to determine the likely winner of each match – which is why, if you want to try betting on tennis, it helps to have your own team of experts on your side.  

What are the most popular types of tennis bet?

Outright winner (match) – The simplest tennis bet of all, and the most common type of odds available. Simply back one player to beat the other. Odds are typically available as soon as the match is set, which can be as far in advance as three days, but more usually will be about 16 hours ahead of the scheduled start time.

Where the complexity comes in is in trying to find a player who isn’t favoured by the market, but who you nevertheless think has a good chance at winning the match. As a general rule, higher-ranked players are favoured to beat lower-ranked ones, but there are plenty of reasons why this might not be true on a given day – certain players struggle against other types of game, for example, or their performance varies wildly from surface to surface; the higher-ranked player might be injured or going through a poor run of form.

When it comes to working out how much money you could make on a particular tennis bet, the formula is simple: Multiply your stake by the odds, and then subtract your stake. A bet of £10 on player x at odds of 1.9 would return £19. If you subtract your original stake, you have made £9 profit. 

Outright winner (tournament) – A similarly simple tennis bet in principle, betting on tournament champion involves picking the player you believe will win an individual event. For regular ATP World Tour and WTA Tour, Challenger Tour and ITF matches, odds for tournament winner will typically become available once the draw is released (usually 24 hours ahead of the start of the tournament, so generally on a Sunday for a Monday start). 

The exception are the four Grand Slams. Odds on the winner of the next edition of the tournaments are generally available almost as soon as the latest iteration has finished, so you can bet year-round on the men’s and women’s champions at the Australian Open (January), the French Open (May-June), Wimbledon (July) and the US Open (August-September). 

As the Grand Slam in question approaches, more and more information becomes available on the form and fitness of the players and odds tend to shorten on the favourites (for example, Rafael Nadal will always be favourite to win the French Open, but in January you might be able to get odds of 3/1 on him to do so; by April, once it’s been announced that Roger Federer will be skipping the event and everyone’s had time to see how poor Novak Djokovic’s form is, he’ll be at 1.9; and by the time he has won key warm-up events like Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Rome, it will be almost impossible to find a way to make a profit on him). Therefore if you’re backing one of the favourites, it’s best to do so as early as possible while decent odds are still available on them. 

On the other hand, there can be huge rewards in backing an outsider – particularly on the women’s side due to the depth of the game, and this is a trend which has started to include the men’s tour as well as the major stars age while the younger generation are not quite ready to replace them. Jelena Ostapenko was 100/1 to win the French Open in 2017 – the first unseeded player in 39 years to triumph at Roland Garros. 

Games handicap – This is an alternative way to make a profit betting on tennis and can come in handy in a sport where the higher-ranked player will generally be favoured to beat the lower-ranked one. In a games handicap bet, you don’t bet on which player will win, but on how one player will perform – or to look at it a different way, you bet on how close or how one-sided the match will be. 

A games handicap bet revolves around the difference in the number of games each player wins, and can be either positive or negative. It’s easiest to explain with an example. In the 2018 Rotterdam final, Roger Federer beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2, i.e. Federer won 12 games and Dimitrov 4. 

Now, if you had backed Federer with a negative handicap of -7, your bet would have won because the difference in the number of games each player won was greater than the handicap – i.e. seven games could have been added to Dimitrov’s score and he still wouldn’t have won more games than Federer. Equally, had you backed Dimitrov at +7, you would have lost because the difference between the number of games each player won was still bigger than the handicap.

On the other hand, when Federer played Borna Coric at the Indian Wells Masters, Federer won a hard-fought three-set match 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 – winning 17 games overall to Coric’s 15. If you had backed Federer with a negative handicap of -2 or greater, you would have lost your bet, because the margin of victory was only two games. A winning bet would have been to back Federer at -1.5 or lower, or Coric at +2 or higher.

Games handicap betting can sound complicated but once you try it, you’ll find it can be very successful, especially as a way to bet on matches with a clear favourite. It’s helpful to remember that a straight-sets match with one break of serve in each set will have a margin of victory of four or five games.

It’s also good to remember that a tie break counts as a game won or lost – so a 7-6, 7-5 victory for player a means that they have won by 14 games to 11, no matter the scoreline in the tie break itself.

Set betting – In set betting you simply predict the scoreline of the match in sets and back player x to win 2-0 (straight sets) or 2-1 (in three). This is obviously more exciting and complicated when it comes to the Grand Slams or Davis Cup, when matches are played over the best of five sets!

Set betting also has several different varieties in which you can bet on the winner of each set – the first two sets before the match begins, and the third set in-play; you can bet on either player to lose the first set to go on and win, or either player to win the first set and win (i.e. win in three sets or win in straight sets, but this sometimes offers better odds than set betting); you can also bet on either player not to win a set. 

Sets handicap – Much like games handicap, this is a way of betting on the margin of victory, or individual player performance, which can sometimes offer better odds than simply backing a player to win, especially in a match with a clear favourite. 

A bet of +1.5 sets means that you are betting your player will win at least one set; a bet of -1.5 sets means that you are betting your player will win the match without losing a set. 

Total games – In this market, you bet on how many games total will be played during a match. 

Since tennis matches have no set duration and rely instead on players accumulating a certain number of points, games and sets to complete the match, this can be a very interesting market. The smallest number of games possible in a best-of-three sets match (standard everywhere except for Davis Cup and men’s matches at Grand Slams) is 12, with one player recording a 6-0, 6-0 scoreline (the rare double bagel); the largest is 39, with a 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 scoreline.

Some tournaments such as the Olympics do not use a tie break in the final set, with one player instead needing to win by two games. Jo-Wilfried and Milos Raonic played the longest three-set match in terms of number of games at the 2012 Olympics, Tsonga winning 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 (66 games). 

At the Grand Slams where matches are played over the best of five sets, the smallest number of games possible to win a match is 18 (6-0, 6-0, 6-0). Since only the US Open uses a tie break in the deciding set, this means that matches at the other three majors can become incredibly long – the legendary John Isner-Nicolas Mahut match at Wimbledon in 2010 lasted an amazing 183 games before Isner eventually won. This was the longest match recorded at any level. 

For any match involving big servers, it’s often a good idea to bet on a high number of games played because those players – think of the likes of Tomas Berdych or Kevin Anderson – tend to hold their own serves but struggle to break their opponents, meaning that they often win sets in a tie break or by a small margin.

You can also bet on the total number of games each player will win in a given set. 

Total games odd/even – A popular market is betting whether the total number of games in the match will be odd or even. For example, a 6-3, 6-4 scoreline adds up to an odd total of 19 games, whereas a 6-4, 6-4 scoreline adds up to an even 20.  

Set score betting – In set score betting, you predict the exact scoreline of a given set. You can usually back either a particular scoreline – in a match between two big servers you might predict a 7-6 scoreline, for example – or an individual player to win by that scoreline, i.e. Kevin Anderson to win 7-6. 

Set exacta – In set exacta betting, you are backing a player to win in three sets but also the exact order in which they will lose and win their sets. 

Your options with a best-of-three set match are to back either player at ‘LWW’ – i.e. to lose the first set but come back and win the match in three – or ‘WLW’, i.e. to win the first set but lose the second and be taken to a decider. 

These are just some of the most popular types of bets available on tennis matches. It’s also important to know that tennis is one of the biggest sports markets in the world for in-play betting. 

‘In-play’ refers to bets placed between the beginning of an event and its conclusion, and it’s where the technological advances of on-line betting and gambling apps have really come into their own. Some of the world’s biggest bookmakers, like bet365 and Unibet, have access to live streaming rights and broadcast matches via PC or mobile for registered customers, which means you can watch the match live, spying out opportunities for profit or analysing the form to take advantage of every twist and turn of the scoring. All the big bookmakers also have access to up-to-the-second stats and live scoring.

Are your tennis tips really free?

Our tennis tips are absolutely free. All of the content, predictions, match analysis and tips our team of experts can provide are available to access at live-tennis.com, although it might be best to sign up to our email newsletter or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to make sure you don’t miss the latest updates. 

We will also provide information on odds comparison, live scoring, stats and head-to-head data and the best offers and promotions from bookmakers: All this and much more is available on live-tennis.com, which aims to be a one-stop shop for all things tennis and for all brands of tennis fan (but most especially the knowledgeable and enthused!).

Accessing live streams and in-play betting via bookmakers generally requires opening an account and depositing funds, but we try to help you find the best and most reliable streaming providers and bookmakers so that you can get the most out of watching and betting on tennis online. 

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