Tennis Trading on the Betfair Exchange - Why the second set slump?
Nov 01, 2019
By Martin Futter in Blog
The end of season tennis trading is a little bit like the end of season football trading, you can expect some strange results as a lot of players switch off and set their minds to next season and specifically the Australian Open in January. To give a recent example of this take the end of season ATP tour finals, the top 8 in the world battle it out to 'win the tour title' at the end of the season. Who were the last two winners? Dimitrov and Zverev! How many slams do they have between them? Zero.
So I advise caution when backing a favourite during these next few weeks, especially at short odds (although why would you do that anyway?).
So what is today's blog post about? It is about the now famous second set slump, when a player who wins the first set often has a let down in the second set when playing a player of a similar ability. Pro tennis trader Ryan Carruthers has made a career out of taking advantage of this with his famous 'Lay the first set winner' tennis trading strategy. So why does this happen and more importantly to us...how can we profit from it?
Let's look at that first question - why does this second set slump happen?
From a phychological perspective it is well know that after a high a person will often have a bit of a lull or a low. If we insert this into tennis we can see that a player will gain an incredible high from winning the first set of a tennis match. It feels as if they are on their way to the win at that point, often a tough first set means they have exerted a lot of energy and they are happy to have set themselves up to win the match. However, this isn't really true. Yes, of course a player has a higher chance to win the match winning the first set, but, you cannot win the match without being level at one set all if you do not win the next set. As important as the first set is in tennis, it means nothing if you cannot keep that momentum going and win one more set.
OK so we have talked about the high and the dangers of complacency but why does that often lead to a slump in the next set. Let's think about it from our own mindsets, if you make £1,000 trading on the Betfair Exchange early on today are you more or less likely to keep going? If you do decide to carry on the day's trading, will you really be as focussed or needing to be as in the zone as you were when you had made £0?
Most of us would pack in for the day, have a drink and watch some TV or something in this situation. We have made plenty of money for the day so let's take it easy! This is exactly what happens with a lot of tennis players, unconsciously after a high they reward themselves by taking it a bit easier. Andy Murray is the prime example of this, the amount of times he would go a set up and then get broken early in the second, or even go a set and a break up only to be broken straight back. Even a great athlete and fighter like Murray does this, so what do you think the lesser players will do in the same situation?
So I think you get it now but how does this help us trading tennis on the Betfair Exchange?
We have to be able to take advantage of this and notice when this is happening! Of course one of the best ways to do this is to watch the live pictures on TV and see if a player has clearly dropped their level but a key component is also pre-match research. Identify which matches this could happen in, try to get short prices to lay the first set winner when doing so to mitigate any real risk. How can we find the matches where this is likely to happen? The easiest way is using our Betfair Trading Community tennis software of course! You can set up your own filters based on the player's stats to see which players lose a lot of second sets after winning the first. Have a play with it here or use one of the member's preset filters to take the work out of setting one up yourself! https://betfairtradingcommunity.com/en/statistics-tennis?advagg=0