Why you should always consider the head-to-head record between players before betting on tennis

Why you should always consider the head-to-head record between players before betting on tennis

Novak Djokovic came across as a man with very little to worry about after his straight-sets victory over Taylor Fritz during the quarter-final of the 2023 US Open.

The Serb was in such fine fettle that he even broke out into song during his post-match interview as he encouraged a partisan crowd, who moments before had been vehemently rooting against him, to join him in an impromptu rendition of the Beastie Boys ‘Fight for Your Right.’ 

Sing when you’re winning

Of course, at just 4/6 in the outright US Open 2023 odds to win the tournament and register his 24th Grand Slam title, it’s easy to understand why Djokovic is in a celebratory mood.

His vanquished opponent, Fritz, however, was not in the same frame of mind and had already slumped off to the dressing room after being soundly beaten in front of his home supporters. 


Novak goes @tkelce on us. pic.twitter.com/IVXtD18Og4

— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 5, 2023

Admittedly, it would have been a hard defeat for the 25-year-old to take as Fritz had hit eight more winners than Djokovic in the match which, in theory, should have given him a platform to win. The problem was that Fritz had committed a grand total of 51 unforced errors which spectacularly undid all his hard work. 

Additionally, the loss against Djokovic in the quarter-final of the US Open was Fritz’s eighth defeat against the Serb in eight career matches.

It is, in short, a woeful head-to-head record but it does shine a light on the psychological advantage a player has when they come into a game having won more times than they’ve lost against a particular opponent. 

The weight of the past

The main reason for this is that players know they’re playing an opponent who historically has enjoyed success against them.

Being aware of this makes the task of winning all the more difficult as there is an unrelenting voice in a player’s head reminding them of this fact.

Even if they take an early lead, they will be fearing a comeback and if they go behind straight away, there will be an internal feeling of ‘here we go again.’

Novak Djokovic advances to his semi-final in New York!

He downs Taylor Fritz for an eighth time to make the final four! pic.twitter.com/25CtKfZto7

— Eurosport (@eurosport) September 5, 2023

As touched on, breaking this train of thought is far from straightforward, and in Fritz’s case against Djokovic, the weight of the past led the American to commit more unforced errors than he had in any match of the 2023 US Open.

In fact, Fritz came into the tie against Djokovic having not dropped a set in the tournament, and in his 50 service games leading up to the quarter-final, the 25-year-old had only dropped serve once. 

As we now know, that admirable composure went out the window when the man on the other end of the court was someone who he had never beaten.

The benefit of taking time to read a head-to-head record

The overall point is that it is always beneficial to consider the head-to-head record before betting on tennis; this will serve as a very good indication of what is likely to happen in the game.

While the temptation might be to bet on a player who has been enjoying a prolific run, if they’re coming up against an opponent who has a superior record against them, they are often going to lose.





Author: Jose Wood