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A Bradley-Terry type model for forecasting tennis match results

  • McHale, Ian
  • Morton, Alex
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    The paper introduces a model for forecasting match results for the top tier of men's professional tennis, the ATP tour. Employing a Bradley-Terry type model, and utilising the data available on players' past results and the surface of the contest, we predict match winners for the coming week's matches, having updated the model parameters to take the previous week's results into account. We compare the model to two logit models: one using official rankings and another using the official ranking points of the two competing players. Our model provides superior forecasts according to each of five criteria measuring the predictive performance, two of which relate to betting returns.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Forecasting.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 619-630

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:intfor:v:27:y::i:2:p:619-630
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    1. Peter Macmillan & Ian Smith, 2007. "Explaining International Soccer Rankings," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 8(2), pages 202-213, May.
    2. David Firth, . "Bradley-Terry Models in R," Journal of Statistical Software, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(i01).
    3. David Forrest & Ian Mchale, 2007. "Anyone for Tennis (Betting)?," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(8), pages 751-768.
    4. Boulier, Bryan L. & Stekler, H. O., 1999. "Are sports seedings good predictors?: an evaluation," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 83-91, February.
    5. Scheibehenne, Benjamin & Broder, Arndt, 2007. "Predicting Wimbledon 2005 tennis results by mere player name recognition," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 415-426.
    6. I. Graham & H. Stott, 2008. "Predicting bookmaker odds and efficiency for UK football," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(1), pages 99-109.
    7. Klaassen, F.J.G.M. & Magnus, J.R., 2001. "Forecasting the Winner of a Tennis Match," Discussion Paper 2001-38, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    8. del Corral, Julio & Prieto-RodrĂ­guez, Juan, 2010. "Are differences in ranks good predictors for Grand Slam tennis matches?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 551-563, July.
    9. Mark E. Glickman, 1999. "Parameter Estimation in Large Dynamic Paired Comparison Experiments," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 48(3), pages 377-394.
    10. Dixon, Mark J. & Pope, Peter F., 2004. "The value of statistical forecasts in the UK association football betting market," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 697-711.
    11. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
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