High altitude tennis trading

After each Grand Slam we have a few tournaments the very next week that always seem to come as a shock after all the good matches we have had during the past two weeks. The level of play and the overall quality of players fall, while the markets respond with less liquidity.

This week we have Zagreb, Johannesburg and Santiago all hosting tournaments after the AO (on the women side there’s a week of for Fed Cup), with the last two being played at high altitude.

I enjoy trading tournaments at high altitude because is brings up trading opportunities that most other traders out there seem to miss. This week we saw a lot of low odds favorites exiting the competition. What most traders fail to realise is that when you are playing at altitude you are more prone to commit more unforced errors than usual, as the ball travels much quicker through the air than most players expect. This in turn can lead to some profitable situations in which one players steps into the court and starts making a lot of unforced errors which leads to a general market overreaction. In most cases players need a few games or even a full set to get accustomed to the conditions and make the right adjustments. Also, keep in mind that players that have arrived at the location of the tournament a few days earlier and players that have gone though qualifying matches have a slight advantage over the other players.

Soeda vs Schuettler - Betfair Graphic
Soeda vs Schuettler - Match Odds Betfair Graphic - 2nd of February 2011 - ATP Johannesburg 250 - 2nd Round. An over-reaction of the market to a good start to the match for Schuettler

Above is the betfair graphic for the Soeda vs Schuetller match were we had a market overreaction where Soeda started the match slowly making a lot of unforced errors in the first set, while in the second he managed to cut down on the unforced errors and make Schuetller play one extra shot which in turn made Schuetller commit more of the unforced errors.

Another situation that you don’t see that often, took place in the Wolmarans vs Sijsling match where Sijsling serving in the 3rd set at 4-4 and was up 40-15 when a few nerves crept in and Sijsling made a few double foults and before you knew it, Wolmarans was serving for the match. High altitude combined with nerves while serving is never a good combination for tennis players, and can lead to plenty of double faults, so that is something to always look out for.

One disappointment I have in regard to these tournaments is the lack of liquidity you get for most matches, which leads to bouncy markets.Looking forward to more liquid markets in the latter stager of these tournaments.

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