Tennis is an intense and physically demanding sport, so it is no surprise that from time to time, players may have to withdraw from a match before the end. This is known as ‘retiring’ and the immediate result is that the player’s opponent progresses to the next round.
But what if you have a bet on the match, which is still open when the player retires? What happens to your bet? The answer can depend on which sportsbook you use and which market you bet on.
Check the rules
The first thing to note about dealing with player retirements is that you must always be aware that this is a possibility so if you are betting on tennis always check the specific rules for the market that you are playing in. These should be easily available on the sportsbook site.
What happens to a match bet when a player retires?
In these circumstances, with most sportsbooks, bets on the match winner market will be voided. That means effectively that the bet is cancelled, as though it never happened, and your stake is returned.
There are exceptions, however.
Some markets combine more than one aspect of the game. For example, a bet on a player to win the match and to win the first set to love. If the first set has been concluded and your player did not win to love, your bet will be a loser even if one of the two players subsequently retires.
What about disqualifications?
A disqualification occurs when a player is thrown out of a match before it has finished, usually for persistent or egregious bad behaviour.
The result is that the match is awarded to the player’s opponent, so the outcome is the same as for a retirement. As a result, most sportsbooks will treat the two situations as the same and void match winner bets when there is a disqualification. But always check to see if the site you are betting with takes the same approach.
What about the overs/unders markets?
With most sportsbooks, bets on the over/under market for the full match will be voided when there is a retirement. This may not be the case, however, with other markets.
For instance, if you had a bet on a three-set match going over 22 games, and the score at the point of the retirement is 7-6, 5-5, your sportsbook may pay that bet out as a winner.
Equally, over/under bets on the first set should be paid out if the set has been completed.
How does a weather delay affect my bet?
The situation with rain-affected matches is slightly different. Generally, sportsbooks will have a rule that says the markets on a match will remain open for a period of time, which can be anything from 48 hours up to a week.
This means that if the match is completed within that timescale, all bets will be settled as usual.
But be wary. Some sportsbooks may not have this rule, or they may reserve the right to void all bets if the match continues at a different venue or under a roof when the game was originally scheduled to be in the open air. As ever, always check the rules of any tennis market you bet in!