On Sunday, 20 November, we hosted a live Q&A with professional tennis analyst and trader Dan Weston to give our dedicated followers the chance to learn a little more about the world of tennis trading. Anyone with a Twitter account could submit questions - simply by sending them to @PinnacleSports, using the hashtag #AskDan. Below are some of the highlights:
1. Who do you like in tonight's match between Murray and Djokovic?
The current prices are almost identical to my model. I expected there to be value on Djokovic today given the fact Murray has been tournament favourite throughout the event, but I think the differing nature of the semi-final victories made the market adjust.
2. Who do you feel is the better all-round player (overall) out of Nadal, Djokovic, Federer, Murray and in what order would you rate them?
Currently, if we are looking at the last 12 months, it's pretty tight between Djokovic and Murray for the top spot (as the rankings dictate), probably slight edge to Djokovic. If we are looking at career wise, it's very hard to split Nadal and Federer.
I prefer in-play betting, as there are fewer easily available statistics to the average bettor for in-play data as opposed to pre-match.
If Nadal managed more equal success across surfaces then surely would be greatest of all time, while Federer's poor h2h record vs Nadal counts against him. If Djokovic stays fit and motivated he has the ability to overtake both and be the greatest.
Murray, last of the four, but that is completely down to the fact that he is playing in the best generation of players of all time. Stats show that if he had played in another era he would be much more dominant.
3. Hi Dan, I was just wondering if you have any stats to help identify how much of an impact accumulated fatigue has?
In these spots you would look at the match-up and extent for accumulated fatigue. I think it will have a lot of impact on Murray today. We saw this several years ago in the French Open vs Monfils, where he played five sets in quarter final after being two sets up and then had nothing left to give vs Nadal in semi-finals.
It seems to have the biggest impact in Slams (obvious five set implications) and for lower level players, but some players don't seem to have issues. I've seen the likes of Fognini/Goffin back up tournaments wins with another tournament win two weeks in a row for example.
Perhaps a good way would be to assess a player's deciding set record and see if there was much correlation; with the logic that a player is more likely to have a deciding set record if they are better physically and mentally.
4. Hi Dan, a prime Federer or Sampras?
Easy for me. Federer. In my opinion, he had a better game on surfaces away from grass and a better return game.
5. Do you find better odds in pre-game or live betting?
My preference generally is in-play, as there are fewer easily available statistics to the average bettor/trader for in-play data as opposed to pre-match. Because of this, I created my own in-play data and I use this data in the in-play markets, as well as providing this to subscribers. Generally speaking, I trade the match odds markets. There are a few side markets that I’d definitely be interested in with better liquidity as well, but this is frequently not available.
6. What does your typical day look like?
Good question - it depends on the time zone of the events. So, for example, currently we are in the Asian swing so a day’s play will start at anything from 3-6am UK time. Given the start times, I’ll prepare the daily trading spreadsheet for each match the evening before, and also then send it to the subscribers of my service.
Then I’ll try and get an early night if possible, and get up around the 6-630am mark, as I find that the in-play liquidity is quite poor before this time. Then I’ll finalise my script with regards to looking at potential entry points for each match, which takes around 15 minutes, and from then I’ll be looking at opportunities for entering the market.
Life is a bit easier in the European and US seasons, with later daily start times. Typically then I’ll get up a little later and get everything fully prepared that morning in advance of the events.
It’s quite a lonely pursuit, and whilst it’s possible to chat with other traders on Skype or social media, it’s fairly tough to balance chatting and concentration/focus. I think in a short-term ideal world, I’d trade and turn off all other distractions, but looking long-term, most people would probably go insane doing this.
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