Tennis Popularity Statistics 2021 - Tennis Creative (2022)

Ever wondered where tennis is most popular in the world? Well, to answer that question we’ve analysed search volume data and online interest for tennis in every country around the world and compiled a list of the most interesting tennis popularity statistics for 2021. Read on to find out in which countries tennis is most popular, as well as which states in the US show the most interest in tennis.

Key Tennis Popularity Statistics

Want the quick version? Here are the biggest tennis popularity statistics and figures:

  • Tennis is most popular in Bulgaria, with just over 5080 searches per million people.
  • Austria ranks third in the world for tennis popularityaccording to search volumes for the sport.
  • France is responsible for more than 10% of global searches for “tennis”.
  • TheUK is responsible for just over 4.6% of global searches for “tennis”.
  • More than 16% of global searches for “tennis” come from the United States.
  • Within the US, most interest in tennis is shown in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington DC & Florida.
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Is Tennis a Popular Sport?

Yes, without a doubt, tennis is a very popular sport. In fact, approximately 87 million people play tennis around the world. That’s 1.17% of the world’s population that plays tennis. Tennis is one of the most watched sports on tv and is widely accepted as one of the most popular individual/non-team sports in the world.

In fact, when analysing Google Trends Data for tennis compared to other sports at a global level, tennis appears to be ahead of many sports in terms of its search interest. As expected, major team sports such as football (soccer) and basketball are more popular, though tennis appears to attract more overall interest than other individual sports such as boxing, swimming and cycling.

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Tennis Popularity Statistics 2021 - Tennis Creative (1)

Tennis Popularity Around the World

To find out where in the world tennis is most popular, we’ve done some research into the amount of interest shown in tennis around the world. UsingKW Finderto access Google search volumes for “tennis”in each country, we’ve compared the number of online searches for the sport in every country. We have determined the countries where tennis is most popular based on the largest number of monthly searches per million people in population.The results are the following:

To our surprise, our research has revealed that tennis is most popular in Bulgaria. With an impressive 35600 average monthly searches for “tennis”, we found that there are approximately 5080 searches performed per million people in Bulgaria. This may be a shock to many, but there is no doubt that tennis is booming in Bulgaria. Since 2016, Sofia (the capital of Bulgaria) has been home to an ATP 250 event, attracting tennis talent from across the globe. The country has also hosted a variety of ITF events in recent years. And of course, let’s not forget the small matter of success of Grigor Dimitrov who has been challenging at the top of the men’s pro tour for several years now.

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As expected, Australia and France, both home to a Grand Slam tournament, also made it to the top of the list. The sport has been very popular in these two countries for decades and appears obvious based solely on the amount of young talent produces by Tennis Australia and the French Tennis Federation (FFT). However, we were amazed to find thatFrance is responsible for more than 10 of global searches for “tennis”, with the country averaging 171,000 searches per month.

Austria also showed a staggering amount of interest in tennis, making it the third most popular country for tennis. An average of 23600 searches a month for “tennis” are carried out in Austria, equivalent to approximately 2620 searches per million people. Austria, just like Bulgaria, has shown increasing interest in the sport. The country has been home to the Vienna Open since 1974, an event recently raised to ATP 500 status in 2015. In addition, Austria hosts a large number of other pro tennis events including the ATP 250 Kitzbühel (2009 to present, excluding 2010) and the WTA 250 Linz Open (previously a WTA International event). And last but not least, there is no doubt that the success of Dominic Thiem in recent years has helped propel Austria to the top of the tennis world.

Tennis Popularity in the US

For many years now, the has been a growing concern over the popularity of tennis in the United States. Since the likes of Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick retired from the sport, many believe tennis in America has been on a steady decline. Nevertheless,search interest appears to be growing.

Search volumes for “tennis” in the US have been on a constant rise since 2015.Search volume appears to have more than doubled in the past five years. Now we’re not saying that American tennis is booming, but there is still hope for the sport in the United States. After all, Serena Williams continues to search for that elusive 24th Grand Slam title, which causes surges in interest for the sport every time the opportunity to claim it arises. And recent success of American youngsters could likely continue to give the sport the boost it so needed. There is no doubt that the recent Grand Slam success of Sofia Kenin at the Australian Open 2020 put tennis back on the radar in the United States.

We’ve looked intothe popularity of tennis across the United States at a state by state level, and it will come as no surprise that interest in tennis is highly linked to the location of pro tournaments across the country.

According toGoogle Trends data,most interest in tennis is shown in New York, of course home to the nation’s US Open Grand Slam tournament.Large amounts of interest in the sport also appear in Connecticut, New Jersey, DC & Florida.

Tennis Popularity Statistics 2021 - Tennis Creative (2)

Tennis Popularity Linked to Top Professional Players

It’s a well known fact that the success of professional athletes at an international level inspires fans to take to sport, and tennis is no exception. All time greats like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal & Serena Williams have been inspiring people to pick up a tennis racquet for decades.

But of course, if one thing stands out in our data it’s the popularity of tennis in countries not often associated with tennis. After all, Bulgaria tops our list. Though there is no real evidence to back it, there is no doubt that Novak Djokovic has enhanced tennis popularity in Serbia, just like Simona Halep has in Romania, Dominic Thiem in Austria and Naomi Osaka & Kei Nishikori in Japan.

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Notes:

It is of course worth noting that there are limitations in regards to the accuracy of the data:

  • Given that China’s primary search engine is Baidu, not Google, search volume data for China is unavailable. Unfortunately, this means we haven’t been able to include China in our tennis popularity study. Nevertheless, we can say that tennis is extremely popular in China. In fact, a study conducted by the ITF in 2018 found that 22% of the tennis population comes from China.
  • In some Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries, such as is the case with Mexico and Brazil, the word “tenis” (tennis in Spanish and Portuguese) is used to refer to both the sport and to a particular type of shoe. When analysing search volumes for these countries, we found that for the keyword “tenis” alone, Google chose to show results for shoes. In these cases, we have chosen to use the keyword “tennis + sport”, i.e. “tenis deporte” for Mexico and “tenis esporte” for Brazil. It is worth noting that this likely leads to somewhat smaller search volumes, which may affect the data.

FAQs

Is tennis declining in popularity? ›

And such momentum seemed to carry into 2021. Over the two year period from 2019 through 2021, tennis has experienced a 27.9% boom in participation, adding around 4.9 million players. That's an impressive return for a sport that not too long ago seemed to be on the downswing in the U.S.

What demographic plays tennis the most? ›

Tennis Player Statistics By Race
  • White, 78.0%
  • Hispanic or Latino, 7.2%
  • Black or African American, 6.8%
  • Asian, 3.9%
  • Unknown, 3.7%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.4%
9 Sept 2022

Is tennis growing or shrinking? ›

As announced earlier this year, tennis participation increased by 22 percent in 2020 versus 2019. Of the 21.64 million Americans who say they played tennis last year, 6.78 million were new and returning players. Nearly 3 million of these were new players (2.96 million), a 44 percent increase over new players in 2019.

Why is tennis so popular right now? ›

What does it mean for tennis going forward? The statistics cited above covered the popular summer months across the U.S. Temperatures were warmer, outdoor courts more plentiful, and people desperately wanted to be outside after being couped up in March, April and May because of the pandemic.

Is tennis a lonely sport? ›

On a professional level, tennis is the loneliest sport there is. A professional tennis player, similar to a golfer spends nearly the entire year away from family of friends for one thing. But even worse, once your on court, you are completely on your own.

Why is tennis a white sport? ›

In fact, it even predates the sport of tennis as we know it today! The tradition of wearing all white on court first appeared in 16th century France where jeu de paume, a close cousin of tennis, was originally played on indoor courts. Wealthy participants would play – you guessed it – smartly dressed in all-white.

How big is the tennis industry? ›

$5.94 billion

Where is tennis most popular? ›

Popularity of Tennis Around the World
rankingCountryRegional Popularity *
1Australia100
2France71
3New Zealand70
4Switzerland69
116 more rows

How popular is tennis now? ›

Yes, without a doubt, tennis is a very popular sport. In fact, approximately 87 million people play tennis around the world. That's 1.17% of the world's population that plays tennis. Tennis is one of the most watched sports on TV and is widely accepted as one of the most popular individual/non-team sports in the world.

Is the tennis industry growing? ›

b. The global tennis equipment market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 2.2% from 2022 to 2030 to reach USD 4.59 billion by 2030.
...
Report AttributeDetails
Market size value in 2022USD 3.83 billion
Revenue forecast in 2030USD 4.59 billion
Growth rateCAGR of 2.2% from 2022 to 2030
11 more rows

What is the world's most popular sport? ›

Football/Soccer

The sport has roughly 3.5 billion fans worldwide and 250 million players across 200 countries around the world. The next most popular sports in the world are cricket (2.5 billion fans), basketball (2.2 billion fans), and field hockey (2 billion).

Why tennis is the best sport? ›

Tennis is a good sport for maintaining health, fitness, strength and agility. It also has social and psychological benefits. You can play with a club or with friends and family as a social activity. Make sure you have plenty of fluids on hand and rehydrate regularly.

Why do people like watching tennis? ›

Tennis is fun to watch because it is an individual sport that when played at the highest level requires heroic levels of athleticism, and also seems to bring out the most colorful extremes of personality in those who play at that level.

When was tennis most popular? ›

While tennis definitely experienced a "boom" in the 1970s and remained very popular through the mid 1980s, its U.S. popularity had subsided a bit by the late '80s, and numbers started tailing off. However, they've been fairly stable now since the mid-'90s.

Why do tennis players burn out? ›

“The burnout does happen when tennis players are not having a schedule of tournaments and training that is balanced. If they never reset goals or look beyond the next week that's when they get burnout. It happens at all levels, juniors to pros.

How long does it take to become a great tennis player? ›

Many pre-professional players train six days a week for several hours a day. Psychologists say that it takes about 5 years, or 1,000 hours to become an expert at something mainly involving sports.

How hard is it to be a professional tennis player? ›

With the exception of maybe boxing and MMA, where you risk serious bodily harm every time you compete, tennis may be the most difficult sport to make it as a professional, because it is an individual sport that requires both elite physical talent and mental abilities, requires significant financial help to develop ...

Why is it called love in tennis? ›

The origins of 'love' as a score lie in the figure zero's resemblance to an egg. In sport, it's common to refer to a nil or nought score as a duck or goose egg, and the French word for egg is l'oeuf - the pronunciation of which isn't too far removed from the English 'love'.

Why is called tennis? ›

Tennis comes from the French tenez, the formal imperative form of the verb tenir, to hold, meaning "hold!", "receive!" or "take!", an interjection used as a call from the server to his opponent to indicate that he is about to serve. Racket (or racquet) derives from the Arabic rakhat, meaning the palm of the hand.

What are 5 rules in tennis? ›

General Rules of Tennis

Players/teams cannot touch the net or posts or cross onto the opponent's side. Players/teams cannot carry the ball or catch it with the racquet. Players cannot hit the ball twice. Players must wait until the ball passes the net before they can return it.

Why do tennis players eat bananas? ›

The 4 reasons why tennis players eat bananas during matches are: 1) they are a good source of carbohydrates, giving the players the energy they need; 2) they are full of potassium, which helps to prevent cramps during long matches; 3) they are natural and filled with vitamins; and 4) they are a quick and easy snack, ...

Why do tennis players apologize for hitting the net? ›

There also comes the factor of fair play where when you get a lucky break due to a lucky net cord in tennis, it may deny your opponent a fair chance to return the ball. The apology offers the opponent acknowledgment and solace for not having a fair play opportunity.

Can female tennis players wear shorts? ›

In today's tennis world, women go with either skirt, shorts, or full dresses as the three main options. Everyone has their preference, but skirts are still preferred by many.

How many viewers does tennis have? ›

The 2022 US Open on ESPN averaged 1.21 million viewers over the two weeks and nearly 168 hours of wall-to-wall live coverage, up 50% from last year and the third-best for ESPN since it gained exclusivity for the last of tennis' four Majors each year in 2015.

Is men's tennis more popular than women's? ›

Looking at how often players are mentioned by name, it becomes clear not only that men's events receive more media coverage than women's, but also that individual male tennis players get more attention than female players. Of the top 10 most mentioned tennis players (across the same period), only two were women.

How many people play tennis around the world? ›

With 87 million players worldwide, that means about 1.71% of the global population plays the game of tennis.

Is tennis most popular in the world? ›

Yes, without a doubt, tennis is a very popular sport. In fact, approximately 87 million people play tennis around the world. That's 1.17% of the world's population that plays tennis. Tennis is one of the most watched sports on tv and is widely accepted as one of the most popular individual/non-team sports in the world.

Is tennis for the rich? ›

While it is still considered a rich people sport, tennis is arguably one of the most accessible sports on this list because you only need a ball, a racket, a partner, and a court (and almost every town or city in the U.S. has a court somewhere these days!).

Is tennis more popular than golf? ›

Generally speaking, there are approximately 20–25 million people who play golf in the U.S. This stays static most years. No way tennis can come close.

Is tennis famous in USA? ›

Is Tennis Popular in America? Though not the most popular sport in America, tennis's popularity in the U.S. may surprise you. It is one of the most popular sports in America.

Which country has the most tennis players? ›

As of the survey period, China registered the highest figure, as roughly 22.5 percent of all tennis players came from this country.
...
Share of tennis players worldwide in 2017, by country.
CharacteristicShare of players
--
12 more rows
22 Mar 2021

Do people still play tennis? ›

Tennis is the perfect social-distancing sport—and the numbers continue to prove it. Tennis participation in the U.S. increased by 22% in 2020, with 21.64 million people hitting the courts, according to recent data from the Physical Activity Council's Participation (PAC) report produced by Sports Marketing Surveys.

How many people play tennis in the US? ›

17.84 million people play tennis in the United States.

How many people play tennis UK? ›

Number of people playing tennis in England from 2016 to 2021
CharacteristicNumber of participants
2019754,900
2018840,200
2017865,100
2016889,300
2 more rows
7 Jun 2022

What is the number 1 hardest sport? ›

Degree of Difficulty: Sport Rankings
SPORTENDRANK
Boxing8.631
Ice Hockey7.252
Football5.383
33 more rows

What is the 2nd most popular sport in the world? ›

2. Cricket – 2.5 Billion Followers. Over 2.5 billion people throughout the world follow cricket. England, India, Pakistan, and Australia are some of the countries where the game is most popular.

What is the least popular sport? ›

Unicycle Hockey, Chess Boxing, Indoor Kabaddi least popular sports among the fans around the world.

What's the healthiest sport? ›

The study suggests that squash is ultimately the best sport to play to ensure a long life. So what's so great about squash? According to Forbes, 30 minutes spent on the squash court gives you 'an impressive cardio respiratory workout.

Is tennis the healthiest sport? ›

It's official. Tennis really is the healthiest, life-adding sport you can play. In a recent study, tennis tops the list of sports scientifically proven to increase life expectancy. Badminton and soccer come in 2nd and 3rd.

Is tennis good for mental health? ›

The combination of increased self- confidence, decreased stress, better moods, less depression and increased mental health in addition to all of the physical benefits should make anyone feel great.

Is watching tennis a hobby? ›

Anything you enjoy can be classed as a hobby and watching sports is no different.

Does watching tennis make you better? ›

Watching tennis and playing it can be mutually helpful activities, dialectically entwined. “You get a boost, definitely,” said the tennis historian Bud Collins, who has been watching and playing the game for 60 years.

Is tennis becoming less popular? ›

Don't be fooled by rosy reports of increased participation among kids. American tennis is declining where it counts—at the college and professional levels, on television and in popular culture. The demise of tennis in the U.S. is puzzling because the sport thrives in other parts of the world.

How do you spell love in tennis? ›

Love – A term used in tennis instead of the word 'nil' or 'zero'. It is used to describe a lack of score in either points, games or sets. i.e. a game score of 30-0 is given as '30 love' and a set score of 6-0 is given as 'six love'.

What country invented tennis? ›

Spectacular, played today on all kinds of surfaces by tens of millions of people, for fun or in competition, tennis has spread all over the world. Designed and codified in England in the 1870s, it is the direct descendant of jeu de paume, invented in France in the 11th century.

Is tennis still a popular sport? ›

Yes, without a doubt, tennis is a very popular sport. In fact, approximately 87 million people play tennis around the world. That's 1.17% of the world's population that plays tennis. Tennis is one of the most watched sports on tv and is widely accepted as one of the most popular individual/non-team sports in the world.

Is tennis declining in the UK? ›

The number of people playing tennis in England has fallen from 889,300 in 2016 to 641,800 in 2021, as per Sport England.

What sport is declining in the UK? ›

But swimming, the country's most popular sport with over 2.5 million people taking part weekly, has seen 144,200 fewer people taking to the pool in the last six months and 390,700 in the last year. The long term trend is also very concerning, with 729,000 people stopping swimming in the last decade.

What's more popular golf or tennis? ›

Golf is a more lucrative game in general as the prize money is split more evenly among the field and there are more tournaments, with their careers lasting longer. What is this? In terms of popularity it is hard to split the pair, with more people playing golf in the USA and more people playing Tennis worldwide.

How popular is tennis now? ›

Yes, without a doubt, tennis is a very popular sport. In fact, approximately 87 million people play tennis around the world. That's 1.17% of the world's population that plays tennis. Tennis is one of the most watched sports on TV and is widely accepted as one of the most popular individual/non-team sports in the world.

Where is tennis most popular? ›

Popularity of Tennis Around the World
rankingCountryRegional Popularity *
1Australia100
2France71
3New Zealand70
4Switzerland69
116 more rows

What is the most watched sport? ›

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and the UEFA Champions League Final is one of its biggest events.

What is the second most popular sport in the world 2022? ›

Football/Soccer

The sport has roughly 3.5 billion fans worldwide and 250 million players across 200 countries around the world. The next most popular sports in the world are cricket (2.5 billion fans), basketball (2.2 billion fans), and field hockey (2 billion).

Why is tennis so popular in Australia? ›

Tennis is such a major fixture in Australia as well, as the beautiful weather and vibrant hardcourt surfaces make for such a great product. Aussies love their sports, and have been known to follow all different types of tennis players — not only the local ones that were born and raised near the country.

How many tennis fans are there? ›

1 Billion

Why do girls lose interest in sports? ›

Lack of access.

Girls have 1.3 million fewer opportunities to play high school sports than boys have. Lack of physical education in schools and limited opportunities to play sports in both high school and college mean girls have to look elsewhere for sports –which may not exist or may cost more money.

Why do girls stop participating in sport? ›

Girls are less tolerant of poor sports behaviour than boys. Toxic environments, whether it is frequent abusing of referees, feral parents or simply bad sportsmanship can turn girls off sports. They often have a heightened sense of injustice and are unlikely to abide any unfairness.

Why do girls drop out of sport UK? ›

Overall, seven in 10 girls said they avoided sport when menstruating, citing pain, tiredness and self-consciousness. The poll also found that the pandemic had affected teenage girls' worries about their appearance, as well as mental health issues, more than boys.

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