Tennis Betting: The Best Approach To Handicapping Clay Court Tennis

One of the most unique aspects of ATP & WTA events is the different surfaces the tournaments are played on. Each surface has its own unique attributes and characteristics that impact the actual matches. The clay court events in particular have very different characteristics to the harder surfaces, which means fewer service holds, fewer aces and generally much longer rallies. Here is a look at the best approach if you’re doing some sports betting on clay court tennis.

The Numbers

The clay court surfaces tend to provide a stronger test to the fitness levels of the players involved. The numbers recorded over a two-year period support the theory that the types of games played on clay court are very different than the types of games played on other surfaces. For example, the two-year ATP study revealed a 75.7% mark for mean service hold on clay courts compared to a 79.4% mean service hold on the hard court surfaces. Meanwhile, the clay court surfaces produced a 0.35 mean aces per game compared to a 0.55 mean aces per game on hard court surfaces. The indoor hard surfaces produced a 80.8% mean service hold and a 0.58 aces per game mark. The grass surfaces produced an 83.6% mean service hold and a 0.65 aces per game mark. These differences in the numbers illustrate how different the types of matches played on clay court surfaces are compared to the hard courts. We can use this information in order to more accurately handicap tennis matches played on the clay court surfaces.

Betting Strategy

Since we now know that the clay court surface favors a certain type of player we can apply these numbers to our betting strategy in order to gain an advantage. The players that tend to have the most success on the clay court are those whose strength lies in their return game. That aspect can be exploited in sports betting markets if the sportsbooks aren’t accounting for their greater potential for success on a court that favors their talents. It’s clear that the stronger returners on the ATP Tour gain a more significant advantage on the clay court. Therefore, by keeping track of the numbers recorded on the ATP site we can get a better idea of which players to back at specific clay court tournaments. Meanwhile, the ATP and other sites also track individual tournament splits, which record the numbers produced by tennis players at specific tournaments. By factoring in these splits as well as the overall numbers recorded over the course of the entire year we can get a better idea of what to expect at clay court tournaments. The same rules that apply to the ATP can be used when it comes to the betting strategy applied to WTA tournaments as well.


The most successful handicappers in the world are those that look past the obvious and really pay attention to the underlying numbers that provide indicators for success. By applying the information we have to our clay court tennis betting strategy we can gain a greater edge over the sportsbooks when it comes to betting on tennis events.

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