What Does Walkover Mean In Tennis Betting?

Date:2024-01-31 Category: Sportsbooks
Walkover Mean In Tennis Betting

The ball boy opens the gate, but no player walks through. A hush falls over the crowd as the umpire announces a walkover. Your bold wager on a Nadal victory whimpers into a loss. But hope springs as you eye your next bet – Djokovic to win in straight sets. The odds rapidly shift as word of his weakened opponent spreads. This time, fortune favors you as Djokovic handily advances. In tennis betting, a walkover crushes some hopes while giving others new life!


In every sport, when an injury or illness occurs, the player is forced out of the competition. In tennis, when such a thing happens to a player during a tournament, and they withdraw from playing before even the match begins, it is known as a walkover. In this case, the match is forfeited, and the opponent will be the automatic winner. This is pretty much the same across all sports. Walkovers can happen anytime during a tournament.


However, when it comes to sports betting and tennis betting, walkovers can dramatically change the odds of a bet or even result in cancelation depending on when it happens and what the sportsbook rules are. In this article, we will answer what a walkover means, discuss how walkovers can affect your bets, and review the rules of online sportsbooks for such special scenarios.

Tennis Betting Rules: Are Walkover And Retirement The Same Thing?

No. Walkovers and retirements are not the same in tennis; hence, each has a totally different effect on your tennis bets. Retirement is when a player is forced to stop playing during an ongoing tennis match due to an injury, illness, or any other reason, the player has retired. In this case, the opponent automatically wins the game, and the score at the time of retirement will be recorded as the final score of the match. Walkover, on the other hand, is when a player refuses, disqualifies, or withdraws from the match before it even starts. In this case, the score will be recorded as W/O, and the opponent will be announced as the winner.


What Happens To A Bet When There Is A Walkover?

Walkovers are not uncommon in tennis matches and tournaments, so most of the time, when there is a walkover, all the bets are voided, and everyone gets their money back. Still, there is no universal ruling across online sportsbooks regarding payouts, odds, and grading wagers in the case of a walkover. Hence, it is highly recommended to carefully read the bookmaker’s terms and conditions before placing your tennis bets.

What About Retirement: Do You Lose Your Bet If The Tennis Player Retires?

Similar to walkover scenarios, there is no general rule about grading wagers when a player retires. Still, in most cases and on most online sportsbooks, there will be one of the following two outcomes for wagers on retired tennis players.


  1. If the player retires during the match: All the bettors who wagered on the player to win the game will lose their bets.
  2. If the player retires before the first set is completed: Wagers will be voided, and stakes will be returned


See also  Tennis Betting: What Happens When A Match Is Suspended?

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How Do A Walkover or Retirement Affect A Tennis Bet: Example

In some tennis tournaments, players must complete at least one set before a retirement is recorded. On the other hand, in some cases, there will be an immediate forfeit. Hence, it is crucial for tennis punters to familiarize themselves with the rules of the sport and also carefully read the sportsbook’s detailed information and terms on tennis wagers. Let’s review an example to help you better understand how a player’s retirement can alter the outcome of your tennis wager.

The most possible outcomes and rules for tennis Moneyline bets for when a player retires are:


  • First Ball: all wagers are settled and graded after the first ball is played.
  • One Set: before moneyline wagers can be graded, at least one set must be completed.
  • Two Sets: before moneyline wagers can be graded, at least two sets must be completed.
  • Full Match: no moneyline is graded until the full match is completed.


Now let’s review a walkover scenario for each option and see how the outcome varies in each one:


  1. You wagered on the player X, and they retire during the first game after the very first point. In this case, you lose your moneyline wager because in this betting option, when the first ball is played, wagers are graded.
  2. You wagered on the player X, and they retire during the second set and after leading one set to zero. In this case, you also lose your moneyline wager according to the grading definition explained above.
  3. You wagered on the player X, and they retire during the 3rd set and after leading two sets to zero. In this case, your moneyline wager is again a loss.
  4. You wagered on the player X, and they retire during the 5th set during the 5th In this case, your wager is voided and you will be given your stake back according to the bookmaker’s void policy.


A walkover also changes the outcome of a tennis bet. However, since a walkover happens before a match starts, in almost all online sportsbooks, all wagers, regardless of the type and market, will be voided. Still, make sure to check the bookmaker’s policy beforehand.


The 5 Famous Walkovers In Tennis Tournament History

Tennis Player Tennis Tournament Walkover Reason
Rafael Nadal Wimbledon 2022 Abdominal muscle tear during the quarter-final match against Taylor Fritz.
Roger Federer French Open 2021 Ongoing knee injuries.
Naomi Osaka Western & Southern Open 2020 To condemn the police shooting of Jacob Blake in the United States.
Rafael Nadal French Open 2016 Wrist injury.
Roger Federer ATP Finals 2014 Persistent back issues.


Top Online Sportsbooks’ Rules For Walkover and Retirement Scenarios

As stated above, there is no universal approach to grade wagers in events like walkovers across online sportsbooks. Let’s take a look at the top 4 legit online sportsbooks in the US market and see how they grade wagers in special scenarios and how the bets are paid.

Online Sportsbook Walkover Policy Retirement Policy
Betonline Bets are void, and stakes are refunded. All bets on the outcome of the match will be void, except for those markets that have been completed already.
Sportsbetting.ag Bets are void, and stakes are refunded. All bets on the outcome of the match will be void, except for those markets that have been completed already.
FanDuel Bets are void, and stakes are refunded. One Set
DraftKings Bets are void, and stakes are refunded. One Set*

*Exception to the rule: In ATP (men’s) Moneyline, if you wager on player A and player B retires after the first set, bets on player B are lost. But bets on the opponent will win.


Wrap-Up: How To Avoid Big Losses From Tennis Walkover?

If you want to avoid losing big while placing wagers on tennis tournaments and matches, make sure to first read the sportsbook terms and conditions and tennis rules carefully, second, follow the stats and news to be able to avoid betting on a player who had a record of injury or poor performance.


Walkovers are not uncommon in tennis tournaments and matches. But they don’t happen regularly as well. For this reason, online sportsbooks have varying rules depending on the events. Still, most online sportsbooks consider walkovers void and refund punters’ stakes.


See also  US Open Tennis 2023: How To Watch And Bet?

Walkover In Tennis Betting FAQs

  • Is Walkover And Withdrawal The Same Thing?

    No. Walkovers are when a player avoids playing a scheduled match during an ongoing tournament, while a player may withdraw from a tournament even before the first match.

  • What Is The Main Difference Between A Walkover And A Default?

    Walkover comes from the player, while a default typically comes from the tournament supervisor. In other words, a player decides to walkover, while the tournament supervisor defaults a player due to any infringements of the code of conduct by a player.

  • Can You Bet On There Being A Walkover?

    Yes. Some bookmakers offer odds on the chance of a walkover or retirement happening in a match. You can bet on yes or no for there being a walkover.

  • Can You Cash Out My Bet If A Walkover Happens?

    Yes, if you placed a pre-match bet that is now void due to a walkover, the cashout option will be available on your bet slip. You can cash out your voided bet and get your stake refunded before the match is officially canceled.

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