Tennis is one of the more recognisable sports in the world, but in terms of betting, the market is relatively untapped. The great thing about tennis is that it’s a year-round sport.
Whether it’s one of the Grand Slam tours (the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon or the US Open) or an ATP event, you are sure to always find a match to have a punt on somewhere around the globe.
Many seasoned gamblers who regularly bet on sports still struggle to understand the concepts behind tennis betting, how often tournaments occur and the specifics behind markets such as handicap and set betting.
Th Safe Bookies tennis guide will give you a better understanding of the markets involved with betting on tennis, which methods work best, what to watch out for and how to do it successfully.
SafeBookies.com only recommends bookmakers and sportsbooks we personally bet with, or have bet with in the past. Each have strong markets for tennis betting and all have good reputations amongst bettors.
Tennis is one of the most widely appreciated sports in the world. Some of the greatest athletes and entertainers in modern sport have come from tennis: John McEnroe, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Serena and Venus Williams and now Nick Kyrgios.
Tennis was first conceived in England in the mid to late 1800’s. The rules have not changed very much since those days. In fact, the traditional heart of tennis, Wimbledon, the oldest active tournament, still operates on a lawn court and requires competitors to dress predominantly in white.
As with any popular sport, punters have been drawn to tennis because it offers a range of betting options.
We are going to have a look at some of the best online bookies to bet with on the tennis, some of the major tournaments and tours and some of the most popular betting markets available on tennis.
Best bookies to bet with on the tennis
When betting on the tennis we trust the following online bookies to have a wide array of markets available on most, if not every major tennis event going on around the world at any given time.
Each of these online bookies has attractive sign up bonuses for their first time customers who create a new account. On top of that each one boasts a constant stream of promotions and competitions to keep you interested. Check out each of our recommended online bookies for their terms and conditions.
Types of bets on tennis
Tennis betting is one of the more straight forward sports to bet on worldwide, with most of the markets self-explanatory but still the popularity of punting on the sport is not nearly as prevalent as it should be.
For most of the major tournaments the main markets you will be able to place a wager on are:
Tournament Winner: Who you believe will be the overall winner.
Head-to-head markets: Who you believe will be the winner of any particular match. The simplest bet on who you think will be the outright winner of each match. Odds are adjusted according to the likelihood of each player winning. Available on all singles and doubles matches.
Set betting: A few variants such as who will win a specific set, how many sets will there be, will a particular player win a set or not and how many sets will be required for a specific player to win.
Tiebreak betting: Will there be a tiebreak in the match.
Handicap betting: Relates to the amount of games won by a particular player vs. another. For example, if the handicap was Andy Murray -4.5 against Gael Monfils +4.5, Murray must win by five or more games overall for the match for your bet to be successful.
Some of the most popular betting markets available through our recommended online bookies are outlined below:
Biggest tennis tournaments to bet on
Tennis is unlike any other sport to bet on in the world.
At any given moment top tier talent can be playing at several different tournaments concurrently, with ATP and WTA sanctioned events being played in almost every country around the world.
Even the casual sports fan is aware of the Grand Slam tournaments: The Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
What they may not know however is that each of these tournaments has several lead-up events that help the players acclimatise to the country’s conditions.
Australia for example has the Brisbane and Sydney internationals and the Kooyong Classic, while arguably the main event of the year Wimbledon has the Queens Club Championships.
These tournaments invariably give a great form line for the bigger players leading into the Grand Slams, but be wary – especially early on in the year — as players trail new equipment, new tactics and generally try and work themselves into a rhythm coming into the major events and can be susceptible to the upset.
Whilst the big four tournaments are the main ‘opens’ around the world, there are still many coveted titles that carry the open drawcard, with the Madrid Open, the Canadian Open and the event that is affectionately known as the ‘fifth major’ the Miami Masters.
All of these events draw the best players in the world to them, but do not always have five set matches, with both the women’s and men’s draws playing best of three sets. Generally the five set stuff is saved for the grand slams, although Davis Cup is also played over the traditional length.
Best bookmaker tennis bonuses and promotions
Australians are spoilt for choice when it comes to bookmaker promotions and bonuses with plenty of licensed and regulated operators giving out free bets like they are going out of fashion. The bookmakers we recommend for tennis are in the above table and all are legal for Australians to wager at.
Generally a bookie will give you a matched deposit bonus after you make your first deposit. This means if you deposit $100 you will have a total of $200 to bet with. Or whatever the conditions are on the matched deposit bonus. This is a great way to increase your bankroll when wagering.
It’s important to be aware some websites have ridiculous wagering requirement attached to the deposit bonus they offer, this often means you are no chance of making money from wagering the bonus. The websites we recommend on this websites are catering to Australians and all have respect for the punter with lenient wagering requirements. What are wagering requirements?
Tips for betting on tennis
As stated above, betting on lead up tournaments can be tricky as form is sometimes thrown out the window as players trial new things, but generally the more astute gamblers will find value in the venue and player preference.
The best example of this is Rafael Nadal, whose dominance on clay is the stuff of legend, but certain surfaces, especially Wimbledon that favours a specific style of player (the serve-and-volley type) can give a player who typically does not have much success on other surfaces the chance to progress deep into the tournament.
Again, shrewd gamblers will be able to identify playing trends and bet accordingly. For example, two big servers that do not normally drop serve usually play their way to a tie-break more often than not, which presents the ‘tie-break in the match’ bet as an extremely enticing one.
Another way to increase your ability to make your investment count is waiting until the later rounds. Even the favourites will pay a little more than they would typically earlier in the rounds by virtue of the fact they are either playing a fellow seeded player or a player in red-hot form.
The Grand Slam tour is the highlight tour of the tennis year. The Grand Slam tour consists of four tournaments, often referred to as the “majors”.
The Australian Open is the first stop on the Grand Slam tour each year. It is held in Melbourne and kicks off in January.
1905 was the maiden year of the Australian Open, then named the Australasian Championship.
Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber are the current champions of the Australian Open.
The French Open was first played in 1891 and is now the second stop on the Grand Slam tour. It is held at Stade Roland Garros in Paris toward the end of May.
Novak Djokovic and Garbine Muguruza are the defending singles champions.
Wimbledon is the traditional heart of the tennis calendar. The third stop on the Grand Slam tour has been going since 1877 and is still played on a traditional grass court and requires players to dress in all white.
Wimbledon is held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London at the end of June each year.
Andy Murray and Serena Williams are the current defending champions.
Played since 1881, the US Open is the final stop of the Grand Slam tour. Beginning at the end of August each year, the US Open is held at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in New York.
Novak Djokovic and Flavia Pennetta are the current defending champions.
ATP world tour
The ATP World Tour consists of the ATP World Tour Finals, ATP World Tour Masters 1000, ATP World Tour 500 series, ATP World Tour 250 series and the ATP Challenge tour.
Popular betting markets on the tennis
Playing surfaces and the impact that they have
In tennis there are three main surfaces that all the big tournaments are played on, which again separates the sport from all others in the world invariably played on one surface all year round.
The Grand Slam schedule typifies this, with the Australian and US Opens being played on hard court, the French Open being played on clay while, Wimbledon is played on grass at the All England Club.
With each surface comes a unique and distinctive set of characteristics that can exponentially increase the attributes of certain players whilst highlighting glaring deficiencies in others.
For example the French Open, played on clay, has long been one of the most unforgiving tournaments on the tour.
The surface is conducive to players who can apply great amounts of spin on the ball, whilst eliminating the impact big servers and heavy hitters can impart on the ball due to how slow the clay itself is.
The French Open has been a happy hunting ground for nine-time champion Rafael Nadal, who is a fantastic exponent of the top-spin forehand — a key attribute many players find almost impossible to combat on clay. In comparison 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, who relies heavily on his big-serve has struggled on the surface, having never made it past the fourth round since going professional in 2006.
However, the heavy hitters have experienced much greater success at the Australian and US Opens on the hard court, with consistent bounce and faster speeds favouring heavy hitters and all-round skill types.
Players like Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have experienced great success due to their flexibility in playing style and ability to use that consistent bounce to control the battle of court position and force their opponents into bad decisions with their ground strokes. Having said that you can never write off a champion with Nadal winning many titles on these surfaces despite some struggles away form the clay early in his career.
Tennis live-betting – advantage to the punter
There are not many sports in the world that experience the fluctuations in live odds the sport of tennis does, and gamblers with patience and the knowledge of the sport can use this to benefit their bank account.
The match can change so dramatically from game to game that if the value of a live bet can oscillate rapidly between an short price and a life-changing dividend.
Compound this with the ability to bet on break of serve, points won and live-set betting makes tennis one of the more unique live-betting experiences.
Some countries have restrictions on in-play betting, like Australia, while othes like the United Kingdom have a thriving online live betting industry, often highlighted by Bet 365 who have pushed these markets worldwide.
Three iconic moments in the sport’s history:
Federer vs. Nadal – a rivalry for the ages:
Tennis has seen its fair share of rivalries over the years, but few compare to the magnitude that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s battles brought to the court.
Both players use contrasting styles to achieve greatness, Federer with his exquisite skill and grace around the court, whilst Nadal’s heavy handed top-spin and unprecedented court coverage was enough to bludgeon even the greatest of tennis players into submission.
The two have clashed many times over the years, but their 2008 match in the Wimbledon final, which is regarded by many as one of the best matches of all-time, will go down as the moment these two titans took the sport of tennis somewhere where it had not been before.
Rod Laver – the man for all seasons
Arguably the greatest tennis player of all-time, Australia’s Rod Laver is one of the only men in history to achieve the Grand Slam (win all four major tournaments in one year).
Laver’s record is unrivalled; winning 200 singles titles — the most in the sport’s history — and also holds the record for most titles won in a single year (22).
Perhaps his greatest honour though is having centre court at the Australian Open named after him, solidifying his name in tennis folklore.
Monica Seles returns to the grand stage
Seles was the world number one in 1993 and was an unstoppable force, winning the French Open three years in a row and the US Open and the Australian Open twice, the last Australian Open title coming in the form of an epic win over all-time great Steffi Graf.
Fast forward just three months later in Hamburg, Seles was well on her way to another finals berth when a crazed Graf fan found his way onto the court, stabbing Seles in the back; and whilst her injuries were not life-threatening, Seles would not return to the tennis arena for another two years.
Seles returned in August 1995 to her former glory, winning the Canadian Open, miraculously her first tournament back after the attack. Seles’ triumph transcended the sport and gave new meaning to mind over matter.
Tennis Free Bets and Bonuses
So, what are some great ways to score free or bonus bets for the tennis?
Best bookies to bet on tennis with
We trust our action with the following list of online bookies because they cater to Aussie customers, have a dizzying array of markets available on the tennis, offer competitive odds and great sign-up bonuses.
If you aren’t a member of any of our recommended online bookies, then sign-up now and take advantage of their sign-up bonuses and regular promotions to make some free bets on the tennis!
What are the best bookie deals on tennis?
Tennis bonus bets will generally come in the form of deposit bonuses, which means something along the lines of you depositing $50 and receiving a matched deposit, increasing your bankroll by 100% or 200%. with some off the offers available over the years truly staggering.
These deals can be redeemed on tennis markets like head to head or even futures betting on any given tournament. Just be sure to check the terms and conditions relating to your sign up bonus because some online bookies require free or bonus bets be wagered over a minimum bet.
How do I cash in my tennis bonus bets?
Bonus bets and free bets aren’t available to every resident of Australia. But, there is a legal way around this.
If you are from a state that is not eligible for sign-up bonuses, free bets and promotions, simply read the terms and conditions associated with the deal you are trying to redeem.
With most matched deposit or first bet bonus deals, all you have to do is contact your bookmaker via phone or live chat and talk about the deals available to you after you have signed up. The bonus bet will appear in your account either instantly or within the day.
Once you have received your free or bonus bet, simply choose which tennis bet you want to make and choose to wager your bonus bet.
When winning a bonus bet keep in mind that you only keep the winnings, not the bet itself. For instance, if you place a $50 bonus bet on Nick Kyrgios to beat Stan Wawrinka at $1.45, and Kyrgios wins, your return would be $22.50, because from the $72.50 you normally would win, the cost of your free/bonus bet is with held, leaving you with the profit: $22.50.
Tips on how to spend your free bets and bonus bets on tennis
Free and bonus bets afford you a little more freedom than you may usually feel you have when betting with your own money. Because you don’t keep the free bet stake of the winnings, it makes sense to place a bet with larger odds to increase your possible return.
Futures bets on tournaments regularly offer good odds and have the potential to earn you a handsome profit, making your free bet worth your while.
Other sensible, yet higher odds bets that you might not usually make when it is your money on the line makes sense.