Tennis Popularity Statistics

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There is no doubt that tennis is one of the most beloved sports in the world, but have you ever wondered how popular it is exactly? Well, we asked ourselves this question and ran through several data and reports to find the tennis popularity statistics in recent years. We found out some pretty interesting stuff, so make sure to keep on reading!

Key Takeaways From The Report

  • There are 87 million tennis players worldwide, or approximately. 1.71% of the population.
  • ITF has reported a 4.5% increase in the total number of players compared to the same report of 2019.
  • By 2030, ITF aims to increase the total number of tennis popularity to 30 million new players.
  • Bulgaria ranks first as the country with more ‘tennis” Google searches on a monthly average, with more than 5080 searches per million of people.
  • Countries with high volume global searches are France with 10%, Japan with 9.94%, Australia with 7.74%, and Italy with 7.87%.
  • The United States is responsible for more than 16% of global searches regarding tennis. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington DC, and Florida show the most interest.
  • Tennis Popularity skyrocketed during the pandemic, with a +22.4% increase from the previous year.

About This Report

According to the latest reports of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), a whopping 87 million people worldwide, or approximately 1.7% of the entire population, regularly practice tennis. This conclusion comes from the gathered data from 41 nations representing 90% of the world’s players, coaches, and clubs. The insights of the report show a continuous and resilient growth of the popularity of tennis that didn’t stop even during the pandemic years. 

key findings from the tennis demographics report

Compared to 2019 reports, there is a 4.5% increase in players that have players that have played at least once during the last 12 months. In case you still have doubts about just how popular tennis is, it’s important to highlight that it is one of the most watched sports on TV, while it also scores high in interest searches on Google and other browsers. ITF has implemented long terms strategies to increase the popularity and accessibility of the game and aims to have 30 million new players by 2030. 

The Distribution of Tennis Popularity by Country

Google Trend Data is one of the most reliable sources for measuring the popularity of tennis, and which are the countries that express the most interest in the game and other aspects related to it. Considering that the United States has the highest number of players, most would expect the USA to appear at the top of the list. Surprisingly, it is Bulgaria that has a staggering number of searches for tennis. According to KW finder, there are around 5080 searches per million people, and on average, a total of 35.600 times where the keyword “tennis” has been searched in browsers in Bulgaria

It is safe to say that this is the country where tennis is the most popular sport, which explains the fact why Sofia (the capital of Bulgaria) has hosted more than 250 ATP events and several ITF tournaments in recent years. 

Another nice surprise on the list is Austria, which ranks in third place for tennis popularity by country. The keyword “tennis” appears on search engines on average 23.600 times monthly, which is equivalent to 2620 searches for a million users.  Tennis popularity is rapidly increasing in Austria, which has become the hosting country for many professional tournaments, including Viena Open, a yearly event since 1974. 

tennis popularity statistics interest vs other sports

France and Australia also appear at the top of the list. These are both hosting countries of two of the biggest grand slams of the world, so it only makes sense to rank this high. France alone has an average of 171000 searches monthly for tennis and a staggering 10% for global searches. On the other hand, Australia has an impressive average of 127.000 searches on Google monthly. Other countries like Italy, Japan, and Germany also have increased interest in the game, reflected in mind-boggling numbers of average Google searches. 

It’s important to highlight the fact that Google data trends are not available for the study, because the country’s primary browser is Baidu. However, it’s only reasonable to assume that tennis is very popular, considering the fact that 22% of the world’s players come from China. 

The following list has the synthesized data of Google search volume for the majority of countries where tennis fans are the most active. 

Country Population “Tennis” keyword in the local language Average Google searches monthly Searches per millions of people % of global searches
Bulgaria 6,948,445 тенис3530050802.15%
Australia 25,499,884Tennis12700049807.74%
Austria9,006,398 Tennis2360026201.44%
France 65,273,511Tennis171000 261910.43%
Romania19,237,691Tenis47300 24582.88%
Switzerland8,654,622Tennis19800 22871.21%
Canada37,742,154 Tennis6530017303.98%
Belarus9,449,323 теннис1540016290.94%
Belgium11,589,623Tennis17600 15181.07%
Slovakia5,459,642 Tenis720013180.44%
Netherlands17,134,872Tennis22500 13131.37%
New Zealand 4,822,233Tennis5600 11610.34%
Singapore5,850,342 Tennis660011280.40%
United Kingdom 67,886,011 Tennis7600011194.63%
Czech Republic 10,708,981Tenis10700999 0.65%
Croatia4,105,267 Tenis39009490.24%
Bosnia and Herzegovina 3,280,819Tenis27008220.16%
United States 331,002,651Tennis27200082116.59%
Argentina45,195,774 Tenis356007872.17%
Slovenia2,078,938Tenis1500 7210.09%
Costa Rica 5,094,118Tenis3500687 0.21%
Hong Kong7,496,981Tennis47006260.29%
Vietnam97,338,579 Tennis587006033.58%
United Arab Emirates 9,890,402Tennis57005760.35%
Uruguay3,473,730 Tenis1900 5460.12%
Puerto Rico 2,860,853 Tenis1400 4890.09%
Dominican Republic10,847,910 Tenis46004240.28%
Paraguay7,132,538 Tenis 29004060.18%
Panama4,314,767 Tenis1500 3470.09%
Ecuador17,643,054Tenis6100 3450.37%
Peru32,971,854 Tenis105003180.64%
Russia 145,934,462 теннис437002992.66%
Bolivia 11,673,021 Tenis 33002820.20%
Tunisia11,818,619 Tennis33002790.20%
Malaysia 32,365,999Tennis90002780.55%
Honduras 9,904,607 Tenis2500 2520.15%
Guatemala17,915,568 Tenis38002120.23%
Venezuela 28,435,940 Tenis 5600 1960.34%
South Africa 59,308,690 Tennis109001830.66%
Mexico128,932,753 Tenis deporte 22800 1761.39%
Lebanon6,825,445 Tennis11001610.07%
Turkey 84,339,067 Tenis13100 1550.80%
El Salvador 6,486,205 Tenis1000 1540.06%
Philippines109,581,078 Tennis 159001450.97%
South Korea 51,269,185 테니스 67001300.41%
Colombia50,882,891 Tenis deporte 62001210.38%
Saudi Arabia 34,813,871تنس38001090.23%
Algeria43,851,044 Tennis3900880.24%
Haiti 11,402,528 Tennis1000870.06%
Cameroon 26,545,863 Tennis2300860.14%
Sri Lanka 21,413,249 Tennis1500700.09%
India1,380,004,385 Tennis87000635.30%
Brazil212,559,417 Tenis Esporte 12300570.75%
Uzbekistan33,469,203 теннис1800 530.11%
Côte d’Ivoire26,378,274Tennis 1100 410.07%
Egypt 102,334,404 تنس3000290.18%
Iraq 40,222,493 تنس1100270.07%
Indonesia 273,523,615 Tenis6300230.38%
Pakistan220,892,340 Tennis4900220.30%
Nigeria206,139,589 Tennis2900 140.18%
Bangladesh164,689,383 Tennis2200130.13%

Tennis Popularity in the USA 

There are undoubtedly growing concerns in the USA that tennis is slowly dying, with many experts claiming that the game has only a fraction of the glorious representation it once had in popular culture, TV, or even at professional levels or in colleges. Since major stars Andy Roddick and Pete Sampras retired, Americans have not ranked in the ATP’s top ten men players. While this is nowhere motivating nor ideal, not everything is lost. 

tennis popularity statistics in usa

Whoever said that the United States is a hopeless case is utterly wrong. Since 2015, there has been a steady increase in Google searches, which have doubled in numbers in the last five years. According to Google search data, more than 16% of the global searches for tennis come from the USA. New Yorkers show the most interest in the game, followed by Florida, Connecticut, Washington, DC, and New Jersey. 

tennis popularity statistics by subregion

Women players also come to the rescue, as their victories have positively impacted the tennis popularity statistics in the USA. Serena Williams, who has won 23 grand slams, continues to draw attention successfully to the game, which causes regular spikes in the Google search regarding tennis with each of her media appearances. The rise of new generation women stars like Sofia Kennin or Madison Keys has given a much-needed boost to tennis popularity in the US. 

Tennis Popularity During the Pandemic 

The harsh restrictions during the Covid 19 pandemic forced people to spend all of their time isolated from their peers and family. Boredom and having more free time than ever brought an unprecedented boost to tennis. While professional tournaments closed off, more and more people turned to the game for the first time, or after years of not picking up a racket, because it was considered a safe sport for social distancing. In the height of the pandemic, during 2019 and 2020, all forms of recreational tennis had an incredible growth of new participants, who were interested in pop tennis, table tennis, traditional tennis, or just hitting the ball against a wall because it was a fun way to kill time and keep the body moving. 

According to the USTA, tennis players increased by 22.4% in the United States alone, while tennis gears demand on the markets also went up. This phenomenon has been a trend in many other countries, now faced with the challenge of keeping the players active and to keep coming back on the court. 

The following table shows the increase of new entry participants in the sports that regained massive popularity during the pandemic of Covid 19.

Sport201920201-year change Change in participants
Skateboarding 6.61 M8.87 M34.2%2.26 M
Pop tennis/ paddle tennis/platform tennis 1.38 M1.82 M31.2%0.43 M
Surfing 2.96 M3.80 M28.2%0.84 M
Camping 28.18 M36.08 M28%7.90M
Tennis 17.68 M21.64M22.4%3.96M
Pickleball 3.46M4.20M21.3%0.74M
Hiking 49.7M57.81M16.3%8.11M
Camping 15.43M17.82M15.5%2.40M
Kayaking 11.38M13M14.2%1.62M
Table Tennis 14.91M16.85M13.1%1.95M

Tennis Stars’ Influence on Making the Game Popular

Court legends like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Serena Williams greatly increased the game’s popularity and inspired new generations of players to pick up a racket and learn to play tennis. Famous athletes like such also greatly serve tennis popularity rates due to their high media profile, the huge number of fan followers, and several marketing campaigns they are signed to. The rise of national stars in the international scene can attract more tennis enthusiasts from different countries.

While there is no real way to interpret the data in such a way to back up these claims, there is no doubt that players like Novak Djokovic or Simona Halep have created a new base of fans in their respective homelands, Serbia and Romania. The same can be said for Domenic Theim in Austria, Stefanos Tsitsipas in Greece, and Naomi Osaka in Japan. 

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I am Mario, a tennis player passionate about encouraging others to join the sport.

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