Wimbledon is the most prestigious Grand Slam championship on the tennis calendar and the highest profile sporting event of the English summer. It's also easily the biggest tennis betting event of the year, taking place at a time when high profile betting events can sometimes be thin on the ground.
If you've never bet on tennis, Wimbledon is a good place to start. Both the men's and women's draws have produced some consistent trends over the last decade. Knowing about these can help you make informed, strong outright bets even if you're not an active fan of the game.
Here are five key Wimbledon trends that can help you place better Wimbledon bets.
1. Rule by the top seeds
The men's draw at Wimbledon has been almost totally dominated by the top seeds. Since 2003, when Roger Federer won his first Wimbledon title, there have been just two tournaments in which the men's singles title did not go to one of the top two seeds. No player from outside the top four seeds has won the tournament since Goran Ivanisevic's surprise wildcard victory in 2001.
2. The top two tussle for the title
The dominance of the top two seeds in the men's draw extends to appearances in the final. In the 13 men's finals that have been played at Wimbledon since 2003, the championship has been contested by the top two men's seeds on eight occasions.
3. A coin toss for the favourite
A first place seeding doesn't indicate that a player is more likely than the second seed to claim a title. Since 2003, the top seed has gone on to win the title on only six occasions. That leaves seven tournaments in which another player has won. In fact, the top seed failed to make the final at all in four of these tournaments.
4. The women's lottery
While the men's draw has been remarkably consistent in favouring the top seeds, the women's draw has achieved the opposite. The top two seeds have not appeared in a final together since 2003, and a player in the top two seeds has won the title in only five out of the last 13 women's tournaments. Players from outside the top ten seeds have won the title almost just as often, taking four titles during this period.
|2003||Williams S||1||Williams V||4|
|2008||Williams V||7||Williams S||6|
|2009||Williams S||2||Williams V||3|
5. Names, not seedings
Certain players on the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tend to bring their A game to Wimbledon irrespective of their seedings. Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Petra Kvitova, Marion Bartoli and Maria Sharapova account for 18 of the 26 finalist berths filled since 2003. Although every one of these players managed to win at least one Wimbledon title, only Serena Williams managed to take the title as a first seed.
What do these trends mean for Wimbledon betting?
Pronounced trends like the ones we've identified shouldn't be ignored. While there's no guarantee that the next tournament will follow these trends, the stats certainly suggest that you can expect both the men's and women's draws to play out in relatively predictable ways.
The men's draw
The dominance of the top two seeds simply can't be ignored, but choosing which of these to back in the outright markets becomes tricky when you consider the relatively poor record of the first seed. Fortunately, the first seed is often priced over evens, whereas the second seed tends to be priced 2/1 or higher.
What this means in practice is that you can back both players with the same value stake and still make an overall profit if one bet wins.
If you'd followed this strategy for the past 13 years, there would have been just two occasions on which both your bets would have lost, and you'd have netted an overall profit during this period.
The women's draw
The seedings in the women's draw offer little insight into how the ladies tournament will play out. The trends in the women's draw indicate that particular players in the WTA may dominate on lawn irrespective of their performances earlier in the season.
This suggests that you should focus your betting on players who have either won the tournament or reached the final in the past. Considering the trends, a good tactic is to place each-way bets on players who meet this description and who are seeded between the 5th and 15th positions.
These players will be priced 15/1 and up, meaning you can make a couple of each-way bets on women's players and earn a good overall profit if one of your selections makes the final.