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False Favourites in Tennis Trading

I have spoke recently about the fact that the best opportunities in Tennis Trading usually come from things you cant easily predict before the match and much can come down to trading the right match at the right time.

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One situation which often causes superb opportunities is when you have a strong market favourite (1.30 or lower) who the markets are expecting to cruise to victory that ends up having quite a hard match. When this happens it can create a superb low-risk and high reward situation as the market prices dont always appear to adjust the way they should do when the favourite is clearly not as strong as initially perceived.

Tsonga-Dodig

The match at Queens Club yesterday between Tsonga & Dodig was a perfect example. Tsonga started the match as 1.10 favourite which is about right on paper however an early exit from Queens club is not exactly going to make someone like Tsonga lose any sleep. Andy Murray was eliminated in the first round of this tournament and I doubt he lost much sleep about it either. The Queens club is a prestigious tournament but, at the end of the day, it is not a Grand Slam.

Tsonga was a strong favourite and the first set was very tight with Dodig holding serve very well. With the first set heading into a tie break Tsonga was STILL priced around 1.13 which is madness when you could see how well his opponent was playing. I managed to lay Tsonga around 1.12 before the tie break and Tsonga duly lost the first set which saw his price shoot up to around 1.65 going into the 2nd set.

As often happens in Tennis, Tsonga managed to win the 2nd set and the markets were clearly expecting Tsonga to win the 3rd match easily as, funnily enough, Tsonga was back priced @ 1.12 to win the match. The 3rd set was tight once again and Tsonga rarely traded higher then 1.30. If you did not know any better you might have thought that the match was fixed. Even when the match went to a tie break to decide it Tsonga was still bouncing around between 1.30 & 1.40.

In fact Dodig never traded at odds on until he had match point and he only needed the one match point to win it.

This was a clear case of the markets being in love with the favourite as Tsonga was also the tournament favourite too. Any normal person could see that the value was clearly lying with taking on Tsonga when he was struggling against the Croatian but for some reason the markets just did not believe it would happen. Until it was too late and Tsonga was beaten despite touching as low as 1.05!

Sensational stuff!

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