Apr 1, 2021
Apr 1, 2021

Can Australian Open results inform betting for future tennis tournaments?

How does Australian Open form carry into future tournaments?

Do Australian Open overperformers go on to do well at other tournaments?

How can this impact tennis betting?

Tennis insight and statistics

Can Australian Open results inform betting for future tennis tournaments?

The first Grand Slam of the tennis season is the Australian Open, which is quickly followed by numerous other notable tournaments. With this in mind, do players who achieve better than expected results at the Australian Open continue to outperform the market in the following month?

Making the latter stages of a Grand Slam is a real achievement for tennis players, both from a ranking point and financial perspective, but it can come at a cost in terms of accumulating fatigue, particularly in the men’s tournament which uses the best-of-five set format.

Given this, it’s interesting to look at the following results of those players who perform better than expected at the Australian Open (the first Grand Slam of each season) to try and evaluate whether they can fulfil subsequent expectations, not only from their own point of view but also that of the betting markets.

How does Australian Open form carry into future tournaments?

To assess this, 27 instances of players making the Australian Open quarter-finals when placed lower than 20th in the world rankings between 2015 and 2020 were analysed.

Subsequently, the matches which these players competed in between the end of the Australian Open and the end of the March Masters series in the US were also studied, with a view to seeing whether the market managed to make an accurate estimate about the level of these players, following them outperforming their ranking at the Australian Open.

Overall, these players struggled compared to market expectations in this filtered sample. There were 185 matches in the sample, of which the chosen players won 111 between them (exactly 60%).

This sounds pretty solid, but the win percentage doesn’t take into account market pricing, which listed many of the featured players in these instances as heavy favourites. A €100 level stake applied to these 185 matches based on Pinnacle's closing prices produced a loss of €1,168, which is a -6.31% return on investment (ROI).

Moving forward from this, it is useful to differentiate between the male and female players who fitted this filter, particularly given the difference between the five-set format for men and three-set format for women in Grand Slam tournaments. The potential for accumulated fatigue for male players is greater than women, and this was evidenced by a complete split in results between the two tours.

Subsequent results for overperforming Australian Open players

Category

Matches played

Matches won

Win rate

P/L (based on €100 level stakes)

ROI

Overall

185

111

60.00%

-€1,168

-6.31%

Men

71

40

56.34%

-€1,352

-19.04%

Women

114

71

62.28%

€184

1.61%

The overall loss in the sample was completely influenced by the poor performance from the ATP players, who recorded a -19.04% ROI figure in the 71 matches played. The WTA players in this scenario actually made a small profit.

How can Australian Open performances impact future results?

Given such a discrepancy, it would seem unlikely that variance is a huge factor in the split between the two tours. The arduous five-set format in the men’s Grand Slam events, and the additional accumulated fatigue generated, looks to have a big impact on the performance levels over the subsequent couple of months for lower-ranked players on the ATP Tour who made the latter stages of the Australian Open.

Younger players who recently overperformed at the Australian Open particularly struggled immediately after the tournament.

In conjunction with that, there’s a potential argument to make that the markets are frequently overvaluing players who outperform expectations at Melbourne Park. Recency bias, as is often the case in sport, can easily translate to the markets.

Finally, it was also useful to look at the impact of a strong Australian Open run (to at least the quarter-finals) on young players aged no older than 24. These players are likely to have strong future upside in the markets at the point that they made the latter stages of the Australian Open, but they really struggled physically in the subsequent couple of months after their breakthrough Grand Slam.

Overall, players aged 24 or below ranked outside the top 20 recorded a -21.09% return on investment in this scenario, and won just 51.79% of the matches they competed in during the sample.

Again the fatigue implications are worth considering, as at this point in their career, their Australian Open run could entail the greatest number of sets that they’ve ever played in a two-week period.

This partially explains why they may be overvalued by the betting markets - presumably they potentially think that this breakthrough tournament will signal continued short-term improvement. However, that hasn’t manifested itself over at least the last six years, and it will be fascinating to see whether this trend continues in the coming years as well.

Betting Resources - Empowering your betting

Pinnacle’s Betting Resources is one of the most comprehensive collections of expert betting advice anywhere online. Catering to all experience levels our aim is simply to empower bettors to become more knowledgeable.