Monday, 10 June 2013

Grass Court Shenanigans

Aaaahhh, lawn tennis. The smell of freshly cut grass, the polite applause of the middle class, the excuse for an afternoon supping of alcoholic beverages........yep, Wimbledon is just round the corner. I'd be lying if  I said it was my favourite time of year for tennis trading, as my style of trading relies more on breaks of serve and changes in momentum, which don't occur as much on this quick surface. But it has its benefits. Matches tend to be shorter on average (certainly than on clay), so I tend to be able to wrap up trades much sooner. Today was a case in point. After the first 3 hours, I'd already traded 4 matches, with minimal time in the market. The games just whizzed by due to the shorter rallies and greater dominance of serve. Plus, the markets tend to over-react much more to breaks of serve on grass, which is exactly where I come in to take advantage. In fact, looking back over last year's June profit, it's clear that the change to grass didn't affect my profit much at all.

As I mentioned in my previous post, there is a clay WTA event on this week but Nurnburg has been washed out all day, so I had no choice but to trade Queen's Club, Halle and Birmingham grass events.It was actually a very enjoyable day (it's nice to have that change of pace and scenery) and I particularly liked watching Grigor Dimtrov almost throw away his match against Dudi Sela in London, right in front of his watching girlfriend. For those who don't know, her name is Maria Sharapova. She's OK at hitting the ball over the net too, I've heard. The funniest bit was watching the teenage hormones flying around amongst the watching ball girls, one of whom was actually crying as Dimtrov was two points from defeat. Apparently, he's a bit of a 'dream-boat' but I wouldn't know about that, being all masculine and shit. It does make you wonder how much of an influence having strong support in the crowd actually has on player performance. Would Dimtrov have gotten out of that game had Sugarpova not been a few feet away? Could be a trading system in there somewhere..............

I was considering watching some live tennis this week. There is a Challenger Tour (next level down from ATP) event taking place in my home town of Nottingham this week, which always attracts a strong field with several top 100 players in the draw. One of the most well known names is Donald Young. The American has been touted as the next big thing in US tennis for a number of years, after a fantastic junior career. It seemed, after a great 2011 where he reached a high of 39 in the world, that he was finally living up to the promise. That was until 2012, where he went on what I believe was the 4th longest losing run in the history of the ATP World Tour - 17 defeats in a row (16 first round losses in a row stretching from February to August). This year, his ranking has dropped so low (currently 157)  that he has to play Challenger Tour events and tomorrow, that means a first round match against local Nottingham-born 19 year old, Joshua Ward-Hibbert - ranked 856 in the world. It would be a new low for Young to lose this match and I'd quite like to be there to witness it!

Young's story just goes to show you how quickly lack of confidence can destroy a sportsperson, just as it can a trader. I saw some of those losses during 2012 and he actually started most of them looking like the talented player he is but as soon as he was pulled back or missed a few shots, he completely lost all confidence. If you don't have confidence in your strategy and self-belief in your ability to stay mentally strong during a bad period, you can spiral out of control much faster than Donald Young's career, that's for sure.

Dominica Cibulkova:

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