Home How to Bet on Hard Court

How to Bet on Hard Court

by TN Betting
How to Bet on Hard Court - Tennis Betting Guide

Hard courts can be found pretty much all over the world and most of the tournaments are played on this surface. On this article we’ll analyze the specific characteristics of this surface, the different hard-court tournaments and, of course, tips and strategies on how to bet on hard court.

There are several materials that can be used to build an hard court, which makes the game conditions significantly different. That said, it’s very important that you understand how this surface works before start making your tennis betting on hard court in order to maximize your chances of winning.

Understanding Hard Courts

The first thing you need to know is how an hard court is made and the different types of courts there are. This is very important because the court surface can be significantly different according to the materials used to make the court.

Generally hard courts are made of a regulating base with concrete or asphalt and have a finishing wearing surface made of acrylic or polyurethane. These are the substances that are used to pain the courts in different colors and the lines. Besides this, the courts may also have a cushioned layer under the acrylic, depending on the speed that is desired for the court.

Hard Court Layers

Most hard courts nowadays are slower than they were to a few years ago. This happens because there is more sand added to the mixture used to paint the wearing surface, making the court slower and more suitable for long rallies.

Besides the court speed, there are other important factors to keep in mind when betting on hard courts. External factors such as the weather or the place where the tournament is played can make a big difference in the playing conditions for the players.

One good example of external factors is altitude. When betting on altitude, you should take into account that the game conditions are much faster and with a higher bounce than at sea level. Tournaments on these conditions usually suit big servers since it’s extremely hard to break their serves.

The last point we want to mention is not directly related to the surface but to the venue of the tournament. As you might know, the vast majority of events are played outdoor, but there are also some indoor tournaments on hard court such as the ATP Finals. When playing on indoor the conditions are very different, usually faster and with a low-ball bounce.

Nowadays most players can compete at a decent level on this surface. However, there are still some players whose game is better suited for other surfaces such as clay, which makes them a good option to fade on your tennis betting on hard court.

Now that you have a better understanding of how hard courts work, it’s time to look to the main tournaments that are play on this surface and how the game conditions compare among them.

Betting on Top Tournaments on Hard Court

In case you are new to tennis and don’t really understand how the tournament structure works, there are different categories. Below there is the list of all the different tournament categories in the tennis calendar:

Grand Slam events are the most prestigious events and every player dreams of winning a slam one day. However, Masters 1000 are also extremely important tournaments with very attractive prize money and ranking points to the players.

Below we will take a closer look at the court index speed of the main tennis tournaments on the ATP Tour. This is a very important information if you are thinking about betting on hard court, since the court speed can make a huge difference in the outcome of a match.

Tournament Category Surface Court Pace Index
Australian Open Grand Slam Hard 38
Indian Wells Masters 1000 Hard 27.9
Miami Masters 1000 Hard 30.4
Canada Open Masters 1000 Hard 35.2
Cincinnati Masters 1000 Hard 40.2
US Open Grand Slam Hard 35.4
Shanghai Masters 1000 Hard 42.9
Paris Masters 1000 Hard (Indoor) 39.1
ATP Finals Finals Hard (Indoor) 40.3
Slow Court: <29
Medium Slow Court: 30-34
Medium Court: 35-39
Medium Fast Court: 40-44
Fast Court: >44

As you can see from the table above, there is a significant difference among the main tournaments on hard court. The highlight goes to the Shanghai Masters 1000, the tournament with the fastest court surface. On the other hand, Indian Wells and Miami has some of the slowest courts, although there are some external factors that also play a major role in the game conditions.

To help you better understand how to bet on hard court in the main tournaments, we will look closely at each of them. Each event is unique with specific features that should always be considered before placing your tennis bets.

Australian Open

The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam of the season and the first big tournament on hard court in the tennis calendar. The event takes place at Melbourne Park in the last weeks of January and has been played on this surface since 1988.

Novak Djokovic is the most successful player in tournament history with 9 titles in his resume. The courts at Melbourne Park suit Djokovic’s game to perfection, as the Serbian has been a great betting investment on this event.

As you can see from the above table, the Australian Open courts rank medium speed in the court pace index. The court speed was significantly reduced in 2008 when there was a change in the surface from Rebound Ace to Plexicushion, making the rallies longer and the game much more physical.

If you are thinking about betting on the Australian Open, there are some important things to keep in mind. Besides the court speed, it’s also very important that you consider the weather forecast. The event is played in the middle of the Australian summer, which can be extremely hot.

australian open

The tournament has an “extreme heat policy” where play is suspended if temperatures reach 104ºF (40ºC). However, this only occurs in rare situations as most of the tournament is still played under very difficult conditions. That said, you should always analyze if the player has an history of struggling with heat and how is the weather forecast for the day he is playing.

Other of the important points to mention is that the three main courts have a retractable roof, which means that play can still continue during extreme heat or rain. This means that some matches are played on indoor conditions, which makes the game conditions quite different.

With so many external factors to consider on the Australian Open, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with our article on how weather affects tennis betting before placing your bets on Melbourne’s hard courts.

Another thing you should keep in mind when betting on the Australian Open is the schedule of play. The tournament has both day and night session, which means that players can play at very different times of the day. Playing during the day is completely different than at night, as the conditions get slower and heavier at night.

As all Grand Slams, the Australian Open is played at the best of 5 sets. Even though players usually have a day off between matches, unless there is some rain delay, its still not easy to recover from a long marathon. If a player has been involved in back-to-back long matches in 5 sets at Melbourne Park’s hard courts it might be a good betting strategy to fade that player in the next rounds.

Masters 1000 Indian Wells

The BNP Paribas Open, also known as Indian Wells Masters, is the first Masters 1000 event of the season on hard court. The event takes place in the beginning of March at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Playing in the Californian desert makes the game conditions quite unique for the players. The dry Mojave Desert air makes the tennis ball fly and although the surface is relatively slow, the ball bounces much higher than in most tournaments.

Indian Wells Courts

This is a very important thing to keep in mind when betting in Indian Wells, since players with kick serve and heavy topspin usually produce a good level of tennis on this tournament.

The 6’10” American, John Isner, is a good example of a player who enjoys the conditions in Indian Wells. The former world no.8 has an incredible kick serve and has always enjoyed tremendous success on this event. Besides his impressive 26-13 career record, Isner is a former finalist at the BNP Paribas Open.

That said, if you are looking to bet in Indian Wells’ hard courts, we recommend that you look for players who enjoy high bouncing courts. It’s not easy to control the ball on these conditions and some players have always struggled on this event.

Masters 1000 Miami

The Miami Open is the second Masters 1000 event of the season on hard court. The event takes place in March at the Miami Gardens in Florida since 2019 after 30 years of action in Key Biscayne.

This tournament also presents very unique conditions to the players, since Miami is a very humid place. This means that the conditions are heavier, making the balls slower and the game much more physical.

Miami Open Miami Gardens

When betting in the Miami Masters, you should be looking for solid baseliners with a consistent game. This is an event where players who are usually considered clay-court specialists usually get very good results as well.

Even though the courts in Miami have a higher court index speed than Indian Wells, the humidity makes the conditions slower overall. It’s also important to consider the players’ physical condition, as playing in high humidity is extremely demanding for the body.

That said, our suggestion is to look for solid players with consistent groundstrokes and known for their physical endurance. Matches can get very physical with these slow and heavy conditions, which is always important to consider when betting in the Miami Masters.

Masters 1000 Canada

The Canadian Open, also known as Canada Masters, is the biggest tournament of the season in Canada. This event is quite unique since its location alternate from year to year between the cities of Montreal and Toronto.

Before placing your bets on the Canada Masters, you should always understand in which of the cities is the tournament taking place. Even though both tournaments are played on hard court, there are some significant differences in the game conditions.

masters 1000 canada toronto

The courts in Montreal are usually slower and bouncier, making the courts a good place for consistent baseliners. A good example of that is the 2022 champion of the tournament, Pablo Carreno Busta. The Spaniard is a known clay-court specialist and took advantage of the slower conditions to make a deep run.

On the other hand, the courts in Toronto are significantly faster than the ones in Montreal. For example, the 6’11” American Reilly Opelka made it to the final of the last Toronto edition in 2021, something that we don’t think it could have happened in Montreal.

That said, always look for the city where the tournament is being played as that will take a major role in the outcome of your tennis bets at the Canadian Open hard courts.

Masters 1000 Cincinnati

The Western & Southern Open, also known as Cincinnati Masters, is the last Masters 1000 tournament of the year in the United States. The tournament is played just a few weeks before the US Open and is one of the last opportunity for the players to compete before the final Grand Slam of the season.

When looking at the court index pace in Cincinnati, the surface rate is medium-fast and these are the fastest hard courts in the US. Players who are making their first appearance on this event usually struggle with the conditions as these courts are significantly faster than the average hard court.

masters 1000 cincinnati

If you are looking to bet at the Cincinnati Masters, you should look at the players’ past results on this event. As mentioned, playing in Cincinnati might take some time to get used due to the fast conditions. One good example is Novak Djokovic’s results on this event. The Serbian is one of the best hard-court players in history but only won his first title in Cincinnati at the age of 30, as the conditions are not ideal for his style.

Fast conditions usually suit players with powerful serves and offensive style. That said, you should be looking to bet on players with such playing style at Cincinnati’s hard courts, as these have a good chance of making a deep run.

The last thing we want to mention is related to the weather. Ohio is a very hot place in summer, and this also plays an important role in the outcome of the matches. Not only the game conditions get faster because of it, but some players also tend to struggle with hot weather. For that reason, our suggestion is to avoid players who are not so used to the heat and always analyze the weather forecast before placing any bet.

US Open

The US Open is the final Grand Slam of the season and the biggest tournament in the United States. The event takes place at the end of August and beginning of September at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.

There is no other tournament like the US Open and everyone knows it. The atmosphere is completely different and that plays an important role in the outcome of matches. When comparing the US Open to the other Grand Slam events, it’s obvious that there is a higher level of uncertainty on this event.

If you are going to bet on the US Open, it’s important to know that there were 10 different champions since 2006. When looking at the other slams, there were 4 at the Australian Open, 4 in Roland Garros and 4 at Wimbledon. The difference is clear, and New York’s hard courts are a place where underdogs tend to shine and that means very good tennis betting opportunities.

US Open

The courts at the US Open have an index speed of 35.4, which puts them at a medium speed. The tournament is known for having the largest tennis stadium in the world, Artur Ashe Stadium, with a capacity of 23,771.

One very important thing to keep in mind when betting on the US Open is the schedule of play. The tournament is famous for its crazy night sessions, and anything can happen on those matches. Back in 2015, Fabio Fognini produced one of the most unlikely comebacks ever after defeating Rafael Nadal from a two-sets deficit. This was the first time in over 200 matches that Nadal lost an encounter after winning the first two sets.

Regarding the game conditions, those are also different at night. As mentioned previously on this article, playing at night is very different from playing during the day. The temperatures drop at night and the lack of sun makes the conditions slower and more difficult for players to hit winners.

That said, our suggestion when betting on the US Open is to look for valuable underdogs as this is a tournament where logic doesn’t always apply. The schedule of play is also another important thing to consider, as playing in the night is completely different and the crazy atmosphere in New York makes things even more unpredictable for the players.

Masters 1000 Shanghai

The Shanghai Rolex Masters is the biggest tennis tournament in Asia and one of the most interesting of the year. The tournament takes place in early October at the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena in the Minhang District of Shanghai.

According to the court index speed table, Shanghai has the fastest courts on the ATP Tour. This is one of the few events that hasn’t reduced its court speed in the last decade, making the conditions different from the rest of the tournaments.

For those who are looking to bet on the Shanghai Masters, it’s very important that you take this factor into account. The court speed plays a major role in the outcome of any tennis match and this is even more important in a tournament with such fast courts as this one.

Masters 1000 Shanghai

The tournament has not been played since 2019 but the action will return to Shanghai in 2023. This has been a tournament dominated by the big names of tennis, with Djokovic as the most successful player with four titles.

It is no surprise that Nadal has not been able to lift the trophy in Shanghai, as the ultra-fast courts don’t suit his playing style. The best he was able to do was reach the final once in the 2017 edition where he lost to Federer in the final.

When betting in Shanghai’s hard courts is very important to understand if the players’ style suits fast game conditions. Fading players who are usually more comfortable on clay is a good strategy as these tend to struggle on this event. On the other hand, big servers and flat hitters thrive on these courts and are always an interesting bet.

Masters 1000 Paris

The Rolex Paris Masters is the final Masters 1000 event of the season and the only one that is played exclusively indoors. The event takes place between October and November at the AccorHotels Arena in the neighborhood of Bercy.

By being played indoors, the Rolex Paris Masters has very different game conditions when compared to the other tournaments. The most obvious difference is the absence of sun or wind, making the conditions more predictable to the players.

According to the court index table, the courts in Bercy are rated as medium but very close to medium fast. Besides the speed, it’s also important to mention that these are low bouncing courts, making flat shots a great weapon on this tournament.

Masters 1000 Paris

The tournament is played mainly in two courts, the center court and court no.1. Even though both are in the same complex, there are some differences between them. Center court is relatively slower and with a higher bounce than court no.1, which makes it different to play in one or other. That said, you should always check the schedule of play before placing your bets in Paris Masters.

A good example of how important each court is in Paris is Marcos Giron. The 29-year-old American has a great record on this event when playing on court no.1, beating players such as Matteo Berretini, Frances Tiafoe or Diego Schwartzman. However, he struggles when playing on center court due to the slower conditions.

That said, when betting in in Paris’ hard courts you should always check the schedule of play, as this can make a big difference in the outcome of the match. Adding to this, betting on players with flat shots and powerful serves is always a good approach when betting indoors.

ATP Finals

The Nitto ATP Finals is the final tournament of the season where the eight best players of the year compete for the title. The tournament takes place in November in Turin at the Pala Alpitour after several years in London.

The tournament is played indoors on hard court and has a court index pace of 40.3, making this one of the fastest courts on the ATP Tour. The tournament is all played in the same court, making it very even conditions for all players.

nitto-atp-finals turin

For those who are planning on betting on the ATP Finals there are some important things to consider. Contrary to what happens in all the other tournaments, where you always have a knockout draw, the event is played in two groups of four players. Each player will play against all other three players in the group and the best two of each group advance to the semifinals.

This means that some unique scenarios might happen that you never see on any other event. For example, if a player won the first two games and is already qualified, he might not be so motivated to play the last game of the group stage since he already secured a place in the semi-finals.

In other cases the player only needs to win a set to qualify and tends to relax after getting that set. These are some of the possible scenarios that may happen on this event and that you should always consider before betting on the ATP Finals.

Regarding the conditions, the courts are rated as medium-fast as we mentioned before. However, the court has a relatively high bounce, making it easier for players who enjoy slow conditions to compete at a good level.

Betting Tips and Strategies for Hard Court

Now that you already have a better understanding of each of the top tennis tournaments on hard court, it’s time to take a look at some useful betting tips and strategies for this surface. This doesn’t replace your own research, as that is also crucial before placing a bet, but these tips can definitely help you increase your chances of winning your bets.

Before placing your bets, you should always look for the best odds available in the market. To help you with that we have a dedicated section with the best sportsbooks for tennis betting with many good options to choose from.

Understand the Court and Game Conditions

As you already know, all hard courts are different and there are several factors to consider before making your tennis bets on hard court. One of the most important aspects is understand the court and the game conditions.

Knowing the court pace index is always a good indicator of the surface speed. However, there are other factors that can play a major role in the outcome of a match. The Indian Wells Master, for example, is played near the Mojave Desert, which makes the balls fly and bounce much higher due to the dry air.

You should also analyze if there is any significant difference among the different courts in the complex. One good example is the Paris Masters, where court no.1 plays much faster and with lower bounce than center court, making it very important to check the schedule of play before placing any bet on these hard courts.

Check the Weather Forecast

Even though this factor is even more important when betting on clay, as the match can continue with light rain, knowing the weather forecast is also very important on hard court.

The tennis ball behaves completely different in hot weather, humid conditions or in cold temperatures. Every change in the weather makes the game slightly different and that can be decisive for the outcome of a match.

bet on hard court weather conditions

Before placing your bets on hard courts, you should always investigate the weather forecast for the day. Sunny and hot days make the conditions much faster than cold or humid weather, for example. Wind is also another aspect to consider, as some players tend to struggle with wind while others seem to enjoy that challenge.

That said, our advice is that you don’t make one of the most common tennis betting mistakes and don’t take the weather into account. At the highest level every detail count and knowing the weather conditions can give you an edge when placing your tennis bets.

Look for Players’ Recent Results

This point applies to any surface as you should always look for players’ recent results before placing your bets. Betting on a confident player in a winning streak is always better than in a player who has yet to win a match in the last three months.

Besides recent results, you should always look into the player’s results in past editions of the tournament. There are some players who love to compete at certain events and always produce their best tennis there.

Isner’s results in Atlanta are a good example of that. The 6’10” American is a six-time title at the Atlanta Open, a tournament that he considers one of his favorites after playing for the Georgia Bulldogs in college.

The last thing you should consider where the player has been competing the week before. Betting on players who played on a different surface in the week before is always dangerous as it can take some time to adjust to a new surface. Also, if the player had a long week in a distant place and requires a long trip that can have an impact on his performance in the next week.

Fade Clay-Court Specialists

Even though most players can compete at a decent level on any surface nowadays, there are still some who clearly prefer clay-court over any other surface. These types of players tend to grind most of the season on clay and only play a handful of hard court tournaments in a year.

When you see one of these players competing on a hard court tournament, this is usually a good opportunity to bet against them. This will happen more frequently in Grand Slams, as these events have very attractive points and prize money and no player wants to miss them.

Nevertheless, you should be careful if the tournament doesn’t has any particular characteristics that might suit these types of players. The Miami Masters, for example, has much slower conditions than the majority of hard court tournaments due to the humid conditions. That said, always take these factors into account before placing your tennis bets on hard court.

Look for Schedule of Play

The last betting tip we want to talk about regarding hard courts is the schedule of play. Many tournaments are starting to have night sessions, such as the Australian Open or the US Open. This means that players will compete in very different conditions according to the schedule of play.

Playing during the day or at night is not the same thing. If you are new to tennis or betting, you might not know that the game conditions become slower at night. This means that players need to work more for the points and is not easy to get free points on serve.

The other aspect to keep in mind when betting on hard court is that some night sessions are absolutely wild. The US Open, for example, is famous for its night session vibe and things can get loud. While some players enjoy these conditions and produce their best tennis, other struggle with the atmosphere and can’t play their best.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions:

The Australian Open and the US Open are the most important hard-court tennis tournaments. Both are Grand Slam events, the highest level of tennis professional tournaments. Betting on Grand Slams on hard court is always a great opportunity since there are plenty of different markets available to bet on.

Before placing your bets on hard court, you should always understand the court speed and other factors that might affect the game conditions. We also recommend that you analyze the players in detail, in order to analyze if the surface and conditions suit their playing style.

To start betting on hard court you will need to create an account with a sportsbook and deposit your money. If you are looking for a place to bet, we suggest that you take a look at our best sportsbooks list with many good options available for you to bet on.

+21 | T&Cs Apply
Please remember that betting is speculative. When betting your capital is at risk.
If you have a gambling problem and need help, call 1-800 GAMBLER
+18 | T&Cs Apply
Gamble Responsibly! If you need help regarding your gambling habits, please visit www.begambleaware.org
+19 | T&Cs Apply
Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly
+18 | T&Cs Apply
Gamble Responsibly! If you need help regarding your gambling habits, please visit gamblinghelponline.org.au or call 1800 858 858 for confidential support.
DISCLAIMER: Online Wagering is illegal in some jurisdictions. Tennis Nerd takes no responsibility for your actions. It’s your responsibility to check your local regulations before joining or betting on a sportsbook.