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The Effects of Consecutive Defeats on the ATP Tour

With consecutive defeats fairly regular on the ATP World Tour, bettors should understand the effect these defeats have on the market. This article focuses on the results of the ATP Top 60 players in 2014, filtered by ranking, after two defeats in a row, to see if bettors should alter their betting decisions based on a players ranking.

A player suffering consecutive reverses is relatively common in the ATP, even for top players. Novak Djokovic was the only player in 2014 to avoid such an occurrence, while there were several instances where players suffered a streak of defeats.

The following table illustrates the results of the current ATP Top 60 in 2014, with a £100 hypothetical bet applied following two consecutive defeats. Matches where one set was not completed were omitted from the sample, and all prices used were Pinnacle Sports' closing prices.

consecutive defeats

Market appears to undervalue top ranked players after successive defeats

The statistics in the table clearly illustrate that form is temporary, and the best players rarely struggle for long periods. With the ATP Top 30 players in the sample achieving very strong returns after consecutive defeats it is clear that in 2014, the players in the upper echelons of the rankings usually return to winning ways very quickly. Of the Top 10, only Milos Raonic (twice), Stan Wawrinka and David Ferrer failed to win their immediate match following consecutive defeats.

Despite 20th rank Fabio Fognini losing six matches in a row on his unfavoured hard surface, the next ranking bracket (11-20) performed superbly, with a very similar win percentage to the Top 10. Returns were even more stellar, returning £735 from 48 matches (15.31% ROI).

Whilst the win percentage for the ranking bracket 21-30 was slightly lower at 69.23%, returns for bettors were incredible. A blind-backed ROI of 25% from the 65 matches sampled is magnificent. Leonardo Mayer (28) was the only player in the ranking bracket to lose six matches in a row, and that was when he was ranked significantly lower. This is vital information for tennis bettors, as it appears the market undervalues these players significantly following successive losses.

No value on lower ranked Top 60 players

However, backing players ranked 31-60 after consecutive defeats had atrocious results, with -8.67% ROI generated from 283 matches in 2014. Particularly poor results materialized from the 31-40 and 51-60 ranking brackets, and there were a number of players currently ranked 31-60 that achieved a long run of defeats.

The failure of lower ranked ATP players to stop a run of defeats was very different to their more illustrious counterparts. On that basis, bettors can assume that form is temporary and class is permanent, and act accordingly with their bets. If a Top 30 player appears to be a value betting proposition after several defeats, bettors should not be overly concerned by this run of poor form, and should attribute it to variance/luck which should regress sooner rater than later.

Conversely, bettors should be much more cautious when backing players ranked outside the Top 30 following several losses. Betting on these players at big prices is not advised, as they are more likely to suffer long runs of bad form.


This article was provided by Pinnacle Sports, the best and most professional online bookmaker.

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