Thursday, June 23, 2011

Trading Break Points

Anyone that trades tennis knows that a break of serve is where the big swings in price occur especially in Mens Tennis as often a set is decided by one break of serve. There are clearly differing views on how to trade break points (which is great otherwise there would be no-one to bet against) so I thought I would give you my perspective on how to trade break points particularly in Mens Grass Court Tennis.

There is a bit of a misperception that getting a break of serve gives you a massive movement in your favour assuming you are betting on the receivers side. The size of the movement actually depends on when you get involved, if you have Layed the Server (or Backed the Receiver) at the start of the game and the receiver goes onto break serve you will get a big movement. However, there is the temptation for some traders to jump on the receivers side when it is too late, the score will be 0 - 30, 15 - 40 or even 0 - 40 and traders jump on the receiver. The problem with this situation is that a large chunk of the movement has already happened and if the server goes onto save the break points or come back to 30 - 30 the movement against you will be roughly the same as the movement you would have got in your favour.

Now if you look at service stats for men, most men (especially the top men) save more break points than they lose. If we look at the men playing in the Singles at Wimbledon this week, only 25% of them have saved 50% or less break points, this obviously means that 75% of them save more than 50% of break points. Not only this but 35% of them save over 70% of break points and the best servers will save an average of 80% of break points.

So according to the stats we are better off backing the server on a break point especially if its one of the top servers (Federer, Lopez, Djokovic) but the movement will be larger for a break point regardless of the outcome of the point and if the break point is in the deciding set, the movement will be massive so these are only for the brave or use small stakes!  

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