For a game that is so quintessentially English, the national interest in tennis outside Wimbledon fortnight is basically zero.The Australian and US Opens are shown on cable television and hardly anywhere else and at unearthly hours in the morning. The French Open is shown at more sociable hours, but bores us with long rallies on the red dust of Paris. Which leaves us with the annual Tim and Greg show…always lots of excitement, but destined to end in disappointment when the British hopes slump out of the tournament. In spread terms, the very nature of tennis’s low-key coverage should give opportunities, particularly in the early rounds of a tournament.


Knowledge of a player’s form on a specific surface is the first vital step. Different types of player suit different surfaces to such an extent that top players will even sidestep big tournaments if it is on a surface on which they struggle.For the major open tournaments the firms operate tournament indices, with points awarded depending how far a player progresses. As with most tournament indices, relatively simple mathematics should indicate whether the index offers better value than a fixed-odds wager.


When the favourites have to reach the final for you to make money it makes them heavily odds-on and better prices are probably found on fixed-odds. And as always, backing strong favourites on a tournament index always runs the risk of the catastrophic early-round shock.