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In my previous article, I have mentioned that Tennis is one of the main sports in the betting industry. And it is quite obvious why. Tennis is action-packed, full of famous personalities and since there are just two players, the game can be broken down and analysed in detail. This guide will contain several parts in which we will examine everything that is important for success in tennis betting - from match analysis to the very process of finding value in specific odds. In the first installment, we will look at the basic requirements for successful handicapping and tennis betting in general.

Bookmakers

Although it is true that basically all bookies offer tennis bets, some are better than others. First of all, the main bookmaker that you will want to use is Pinnacle. They publish handicaps and prices quite early, offer the highest limits and have great customer care. However, they do not offer bets on some minor tournaments like Challengers, so you may also want to register at other companies, including JetbullWilliam Hill Review andBet365Paddy Power can also be interesting, since they often offer alternative handicaps - most firms do not do that. Betfair is obviously great for Live Betting (a whole chapter will be devoted to this, don't worry) and also offers a lot of live streams through its live video program, so it is one of the bookies you just have to use.

Following matches

If you are serious about betting tennis, you will need to watch as many matches as you can. I have already suggested Betfair, but they do not cover all televised matches, so what are the other options? Well, the official paid streams can become quite costly over time, so if your local television channels don't cover tennis much, you will probably want to look at some sites offering free online streams. Metabetting offers that service, for example. It is quite obvious why you should watch matches. Looking just at the scoreboards can be very misleading at times, for example. If I tell you that a match finished 6-3 3-6 7-6, what can you tell from that? Basically nothing. However, if you have seen the match, you will know a lot more - what was working for the players, what were they struggling with, whether there were some injuries involved, etc. Simple results can never tell you that much, so it is important to actually know what was going on.

Knowing specific players

As you become more experienced, you will start to understand the various playing styles and you will also realize how they match against each other. Players that utilize the serve-and-volley style (Stepanek, Llodra) usually have horrible records against players that are able to move well (Monfils, Ferrer) and players that can consistently hit passing shots (Federer, Murray). Some players are very strong on serve (Querrey, Isner), but may lack in some other departments, while some players are able to return better than others (Murray, Davydenko). You can learn a lot by studying the H2H records between players that play in different styles. Why do you think that Federer has such a good record against Roddick (20-3), but a poor one against Nadal (7-14). Mentality, consistency and various surfaces also come into play, but how their styles match is perhaps the most important consideration.

Final issues

You will also want to keep track of injuries - when a player returns from an injury, he usually struggles for some time, so it may be a good idea to bet against him. It is also good to know what players have to qualify for important tournaments (Grand Slams especially), since those players can often throw away matches in order to have more time to prepare for that. Keeping track of that has certainly been very profitable this year. Finally, you may also want to follow the webs/twitters of certain players, although that is recommended only for people who are very interested in tennis.

With these early considerations out of the way, we will look at some of the more specific issues in the next parts of this series. Next time, we are going to examine the various types of bets and what do we need to consider with regards to them. Meanwhile, you may still want to check out my previous article (if you haven't done that yet) or start discussing in the tennis forums.

See also

The Guide to Tennis Betting - Playing styles
Tennis Betting - Form & Fitness