Do tennis players perform better in major tournaments?


Analyzing the behaviour and mentality of players is very important when we talk about betting on tennis. One factor that players have to consider is the motivation of each tennis player in larger and smaller competitions.

Greek-Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios said his motivation is much greater in major tournaments such as Grand Slams and Masters and much lower in smaller tournaments.

This is natural and fully anticipated, although it is somewhat rare to hear players admit it. There is, however, an unrealistic perception of many tennis fans and betting players, who believe that a player gives his best in every match.

Exceeding expectations

In fact, few players are able to achieve this, as perhaps David Federer does, who seems to treat every game in which he takes part as a Grand Slam final. Of course, it is the exception to the rule.

If we look at the past data on Kyrgios and other tennis players we will find that he ultimately exceeds the expectations of bookmakers expressed through odds, both in small tournaments and even more so in major tournaments. Therefore, in general, a bet in favour of Kyrgios is most of the time a good value bet.

A similar conclusion also emerges for Lucas Pouille and Damir Dzumhur, who are usually treated by the market at higher odds than they normally should in major competitions, again creating good value bets most of the time. To a lesser extent this also applies to Alexander Zverev but this time in small competitions, while Jack Sock has similar momentum in the less important tournaments.

Very good performances in both small and major tournaments have beyond Kyrgios and Russian young tennis player Andrey Rublev as well as American tennis player John Isner. Of course, it’s hard to find value in Isner’s stakes in small tournaments, as he usually appears as a strong favorite in them.

Big and small moments

Pouille mentioned has a much better record in the major tournaments. It is also important that Stan Wawrinka is also better in the big tournaments than in the minors, which clearly shows that he is much more interested in the big tournaments and takes the small ones quite lightly.

On the other hand, it is not surprising that there are athletes who perform significantly better in smaller competitions. While Rafael Nadal is often considered the King of Clay, Pablo Cuevas can be considered the ‘250 Clay Level King’ as the Uruguayan has an excellent record in small tournaments on clay. At the same time, the big tournaments with many rounds seem to be the “Achilles heel” of the physically sensitive Milos Raonic.

Performance in major tournaments

Robin Haase is frequently criticized for his performance under pressure, so his poor performances at major tournaments are not surprising, while Marin Cilic and Gripor Dimitrov usually appear at relatively low odds at Grand Slams but are not used to doing well.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that players in the top ten of the world rankings seem to have far more games at Grand Slams and Masters than in 250/500 tournaments. The top four tennis players are the only four players to have played in more than twice as many games in major tournaments than in small ones in their careers.

Djokovic has more than three times as many matches (3.05) as young in his career, Nadal and Federer follow with 2.20 more times and Murray with 2.15 more major tournaments than young ones.

In conclusion, we can mention that there is a basis in assuming that top players take big tournaments much more seriously than the smaller ones. However, it is really worth analyzing individually the mentality, selections and performance of each player to develop a specific betting strategy based on the players and the importance of each tournament.


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