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Betfair Tennis Trading Life After Andy Murray

Martin's picture
May 09, 2018

As news broke today of a set-back in Andy Murray's recovery from his hip injury it got me thinking about life after he retires. It has been a tough year having no Murray matches to follow given how consitently he had made the latter stages of pretty much all tennis tournaments over the past decade. Murray's dogged style of never giving up but also taking his eye off the ball when ahead meant that for many of us Betfair Tennis traders he was a goldmine. It was also great fun to watch him play and I never thought I would see a Brit win one Wimbledon let alone two! 

British tennis is actually in a very good place once Murray leaves the game, despite tennis participation declining at an alarming rate in the UK over the last few years, the LTA does finally seem to be bringing some players through it's various rising stars programmes. Most notably Kyle Edmund and Johanna Konta, who despite some questionning their nationalities (Edmund moved here at 3 years old and Johanna at 14), were supported by the LTA at the crucial periods of their lives as they tried to make it up the ranks to become top 20 players. 

I remember a conversation I had with a fellow tennis trader about Edmund, suggesting I did not think he would break the top 20, a steady player no doubt but he did not seem to have the incredible consitency or weapons to get that high. How wrong I was as today he has now cracked the top 20 and looks set for big things over the next few years. It will be good to have someone to cheer on at Wimbledon and we are lucky that Henman, Murray and Edmund's careers have not overlapped as we really haven't produced a lot else over the last 25 years. 

From a traders point of view I do not think Edmund will replace the Murray goldmine, Edmund is much more of a hot and cold player than Murray has been. Murray's level of consistency was quite staggering really and this is hard for anyone to replicate, to be that strong mentally to continually beat out slightly weaker opponents year on year is a hell of a feat. Where the value will come with Edmund is trying to work out when he will be hot and when he will be cold, if he has a big week one week I would expect a bit of a down week the next and vice versa. Edmund has struggled at Wimbledon only getting past the first round once in 6 attempts (he made the 2nd round on that one occasion), though he comes into it this year a much stronger player both physically and mentally. There may also be value in him against the top players like there was with Murray, if he is a heavy underdog then he is worth a go because when he is hot he can beat the top players as he showed today beating Djokovic on clay. All in all I think we will now have plenty of Edmund trading years ahead of us, I just don't expect the wild swings we had with Murray on a regular basis.

Talking of blowing hot and cold Johanna Konta is the Liverpool of the tennis world. Konta can beat anyone on her day in the women's game but struggles to put away lowly ranked players and qualifiers far too often. As a result her ranking has dropped from No. 4 in the world to 23 (and will probably decline again after losing to another qualifier this week). Wimbledon last year seemed to take a lot out of her and her form has declined rapidly ever since. Clay is not her friend as she has not got past the Rolland Garros first round in her last three attempts, if she is heavy odds on in her first match it will be hard not to auto-lay her again this year. Like Edmund, I think it is a lot easier for her to be up for a match against Venus WIlliams than a lowly qualifier, this is why from a trading perspective laying her heavy odds on is paying out some sweet dividends so far this year. Taking her a big odds though is worth it, she can up her game as the underdog and is a good fighter. 

As a British tennis fan I think we have a lot to look forward to this year in tennis, hopefully we will have a strong Wimbledon. From a trading perpective there are clear angles here that we can take advantage of, knowing the type of player you are backing and laying makes all the difference, with Edmund and Konta being British we have plenty of info to look at and that is why I have been able to come to these conclusions. 

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