Introduction to tennis
Tennis is a game that is often associated with genteel folks enjoying a sunny afternoon picnic, twanging a ball to each other with wooden racquets. Indeed, for much of its long history, that image would be quite close to the truth.
Nowadays, however, the game is anything but a romp in the sunshine. It’s a hard-hitting, action-packed contest between athletes at the peak of their strengths and abilities. The serves are like lightning, the rallies are intense, and the matches are about victory alone.
Where to bet on tennis?
It’s a bustling sector of modern online bookies that offer tennis. Most of your favourite bookies will have a few decent markets to bet on. The big guys all have a slice of the tennis action.
There are a whole lot of different markets out there, so there’s something to suit all tastes in tennis betting. Sites offering tips and advice abound online, giving bettors a real leg up in terms of strategy.
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Main tennis tournaments
Tennis tournaments and events are popular just about everywhere, so there is a lot to choose from. Here’s a compilation of some of the biggest around.
The term ‘Grand Slam’ has two meanings. It either refers to any of the four major world tournaments listed below, or it refers to a player who has won all four of those titles in a single season.
The tournaments are the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and the US Open. All four of these are Grand Slam events, and should a player manage to win all four of them in a single season, he or she is said to have won the “Grand Slam” for that year.
Each calendar year, the majors open with a tournament down under. The Australian Open is a hard-court championship, although this is a relatively late innovation. From its founding in 1905 until the late 1980s, it was a grass-court event, like Wimbledon.
The greatest players in the world congregate in Melbourne in mid-January each year to determine who will be the Australian Open champion in their various formats. The open ends in a series of finals, culminating in the men’s finals on the last day.
Played at the Stade Roland-Garros in Paris since 1891, the French Open is commenced near the end of May each year. The tournament is played on a clay surface, which creates a slower ball with a far higher grip and bounces.
This Open is regarded by many to be the most gruelling and demanding of all the majors, particularly as a consequence of the surface. The demands of clay favour the gritty style of players who can doggedly grind out wins, with Raphael Nadal being a notable case in point.
At over a hundred and forty years old, Wimbledon is the longest-running tournament among the majors. Played at the All England Club in the London borough of Wimbledon, it’s the last remaining grass event among the bigger competitions in tennis.
The tournament begins in early July each year, and while it holds no formal superiority over the other majors, it is nevertheless widely considered to be the most prestigious. The grass surface is faster than others and thus favours big hitters.
The final Majors’ event of the year, the US Open, is played in New York City. It’s the second-oldest tournament, having started all the way back in 1881. The games are played on a hard surface, very like the Australian Open.
As with the other three Majors events, the US Open is an annual draw for the greatest players in the world to come together. The format is familiar, with group stages leading onto a knockout stage of finals to determine the ultimate champion.
Under the auspices of the Association of Tennis Professionals, the ATP tour is a men’s tour. Headquartered in London, ATP organizes several international contests between the top-ranked men in tennis.
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) runs this top-tier women’s tour along with several different competitions each year. These culminate in the WTA Tour Championships, which are held annually in China.
Run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the series features a very wide range of events. There are men’s events, women’s events, junior events, and paralympic events too. It’s a really great mix of events across the tennis-playing world.
Tennis facts and history
Originally deriving from a 12th-century game called Jeu de paume (game of the palm), tennis grew into a game played in indoor courts with racquets rather than hands. This particular indoor version is still played today and is distinct from modern tennis.
The modern game is played with ultra-light graphite racquets, with specially tensioned strings woven across a broadhead. The courts are composed of various different materials, although they were all at one point grass-covered.
There are four main types of court in use today. The grass-court is still used, although far less so than it used to be. Wimbledon is the only major tournament on grass. The grass-court allows the ball to slide more as it lands, meaning that it’s quicker and lower.
Clay courts can still be found, too, with the most famous example being at Roland Garros. The effect of clay is twofold on a ball. It clings to the ball, making it heavier and slower through the air. It also grips when the ball lands, increasing the spin and bounce.
The final and most common type of surface is called the hard surface. This surface is considered to be the best option, generally speaking. It offers a compromise between the slow, spinning clay court and the fast, low grass court.
Tennis regulations stipulate that courts must measure 78 feet (23,77 m) in length and are 36 feet (10,97 m) wide, including the tramlines. For singles matches, the tramlines are excluded, thereby making the singles court 27 feet (8,23 m) wide.
The balls used in tennis are composed of a highly pressurized rubber core, covered in a fabric made of a mixture of wool and nylon. They easily soften with use and are thus continually swapped out during full matches.
Points are determined by players keeping the ball in play within the confines of the court. If a player has landed the ball in an opponent’s court, it must be returned to the initial player’s court legally. If not, the first player gains a point.
Each tennis match is determined by sets, which are themselves made up of games. Each game has four scoring points, listed as 15, 30, 40, and game. Zero points are referred to as love. If a player reaches six such games clear of the opponent, they have won the set.
For a player to win the game, they require three out of five sets for the men’s game and two out of three sets for the women’s game. Some of the greatest ever matches have gone to the full five allotted sets and have spanned several hours in duration.
While tennis tournaments such as Wimbledon have been staged since the late 19th century, the game continued as a relatively minor event in world sports until around the late 1960s. At this time, it began to become professionalized.
There were many notable players in the old days, but the really big names only emerged after this professional watershed period from the early 1970s onward. This has led to certain players becoming household names across the globe.
Whether you’re looking for something new or are just a fan of all kinds of sports, tennis is a great option. It combines athletic prowess with tactical nous in all the best ways. It’s a fantastic option for the bettor, too, because the tennis betting sector is bustling.
Another great thing is that there are many smaller tournaments taking place each year, with the major events evenly spaced across the season. This means there’s always something happening in the tennis betting calendar.
How do I bet on tennis?
There are plenty of online options for tennis betting. Your favourite bookies will likely have the right lines and system for you to bet on.
Is it easy to win bets on tennis matches?
Well, no easier than any other sport. You should look for sound tips and advice and study the game closely in order to win tennis bets often.
What is a tennis spread bet?
Tennis spread betting is the same as with many sports. The bookies will give you the spread, and you bet against the book. Remember, with tennis; the spread can refer to games within a set or to sets as a whole.
Are there handicaps in tennis betting?
Yes, there are. Tennis handicap betting is the same as spread betting. The spread is the handicap, meaning that the favourite has certain points deducted while the underdog gains some points. You bet against the book’s prediction.
Can I bet on a whole tennis tournament?
Yes, it’s called an outright bet. You pick your player and lay your wager. Sometimes, bookies will give you a softer option, meaning that you still win something if your player places second or third, etc.
Which tennis bookies are the best?
There are a great many bookies doing a great job with tennis odds out there. If one bookie doesn’t quite have what you’re after, another one probably will.