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Find info about tennis players before you bet

If you want to make a profit while betting on tennis, having information about the players obviously is essential. Watching footage of tennis events on TV or even being at the event of course helps. But then, you cannot watch all the matches, all the time. That means you have to find information on the players from other sources.

What kind of information do you need before placing a bet?

These are the most important things you need to know in order to choose a good bet:

  1. The playing characteristics/styles of both players
  2. The shape the players are currently in
  3. The head to head statistics between the two players

Where do you find updated information on tennis players?

For #1, you need to do some research, unless you have seen the player(s) play before. Some info you can just find by googling the player name, but in the long run it pays to create your own little database. Just download the currentl y top ranked ATP and WTA players, set up an Excel file and have a couple of columns next to each name to evaluate their respective strengths an weaknesses. Here are just a few: Forehand, backhand, volley, serve, return of serve, consistency, attacking player or counter puncher, stamina, focus, strategic skills, ability to adapt his game etc. Simply use a system of 10 - 1 points. Once you have that list, use it and keep it updated. You should tend to place bets on players that you have good intel about, rather than on unknowns.

For #2, check their results in tournaments over the last 4 weeks obviously. But watch out: Be aware that the surface is very important here! Meaning, if you want to make a good guess about how the player is going to perform, check his lasts results on the same surfaces. This is easy for the Grand Slam tournaments, because of the simple fact that before each Grand Slam event, there are a couple of other events on the same surface. Virtually every player signs in for at least one of those to prepare for the Grand Slam events. For example, before Wimbledon, players tend to play at Queens or Halle etc.
The results can be found at the ATP website and at http://www.wtatennis.com for the ladies.

Finding the necessary info about the #3 aspect is pretty easy. Both the ATP and the WTA website have player statistics that include the option to show head-to head stats for any two players. You can find those infos here for men: ATP player head to head stats
In order to find WTA  player info, including head to head stats, go to http://www.wtatennis.com/players, then pick one player first. Then, in the column on the right, you will see a function that lets you pair that player up against any other player you want.

One final word of advice: Simply comparing two players by seeing who is ranked higher is not a good idea. That said, this approach may work a little better when you are looking at the tennis ladies - the gap between the top 20 and the rest is a little bit bigger here. But in the ATP ranking system, when you are looking at the top 150 players, virtually any player can beat any other player. All it takes is for the underdog to have a good day while the other guy has a bad one.