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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.What makes tennis so popular? ›
It's social! Tennis at the amateur level is as much about fun as it is competition. It is a very social sport, allowing you to have fun with your friends and opponents not only during points, but also between, before, and after the match!How popular is tennis now? ›
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.Where is tennis most popular? ›
Football (Soccer) is the most popular sport in the world. The sports of tennis, football (soccer), and cricket all originated in England, but are drawn from older games that have been played throughout history.Is tennis an attractive sport? ›
The study, conducted by dating website Elite Singles, named those three sports as the most attractive to potential partners. A huge 13 per cent of respondents said they found swimming the most attractive sport for someone to participate in, followed by tennis at 10 per cent and beach volleyball at eight per cent.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 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.Which country has most tennis players? ›
Share of tennis players worldwide in 2017, by country.
|Characteristic||Share of players|
Based on 2019 data, 87 million play tennis worldwide, which is approx. 1.17% of the global population. 47% of tennis players are female and 53% are male. There were a total of 3873 professional tennis players ranked in 2017.
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.
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.Is tennis a real sport? ›
Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society and at all ages. The sport can be played by anyone who can hold a racket, including wheelchair users. The modern game of tennis originated in Birmingham, England, in the late 19th century as lawn tennis.What is the most popular sport in the world? ›
While it may not be apparent in the United States, association football—also known as soccer—is the most popular sport in the world by a vast margin. Soccer is king in virtually all of Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East, Central America, and Asia.Is tennis on the decline? ›
Nationally, according to a report by the Tennis Industry Association, the sport lost 2.2 percent of its players from 2016 to 2017, putting the number at 17.68 million. “Core” players, who make up 93 percent of all players, dropped 3.5 percent to 9.52 million.How many viewers does tennis have? ›
average audience of 3.1 million viewers.Who made tennis popular? ›
Sears popularized the game. An important milestone in the history of tennis was the decision of the All England Croquet Club to set aside one of its lawns at Wimbledon for tennis, which soon proved so popular that the club changed its name to the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club.How many tennis fans are there in the world? ›
|1.||Soccer / Association Football||3.5 Billion|
|3.||Field Hockey||2 Billion|
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.How popular is tennis in the USA? ›
Over 21 million people played tennis in America, making it one of the most played sports in America.
As the total population is now more than 292 million, each increase of 1 percent represents an additional 2.92 million players. In the 2010 survey, 9.51 percent of the U.S. population plays tennis, up from 8.74 percent in 2003.What is the second most popular sport in the world 2022? ›
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).
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.What is the #1 sport in America? ›
1. American Football. American football is the most popular sport in America and is the favorite sport of 37% of the country. The NFL is also the most popular league and is supported by 55% of Americans.What is the least popular sport? ›
Unicycle Hockey, Chess Boxing, Indoor Kabaddi least popular sports among the fans around the world.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.Which country has most tennis players? ›
Share of tennis players worldwide in 2017, by country.
|Characteristic||Share of players|
average audience of 3.1 million viewers.Which country has most tennis courts? ›
The total number of tennis courts in Europe in 2018, by country.
Soccer is the world's most popular sport. It is played by more than 20 million people in more than 140 countries.
|Degree of Difficulty: Sport Rankings|
With 2.5 billion followers, cricket is the second-most popular sport (behind soccer/football with 3.5 billion followers).What sports are growing in popularity? ›
Individual Sports, Basketball and Yoga Gain Popularity During Pandemic – Sportico.com.What is the best sport? ›
Soccer or football has been voted the no. 1 sport. Over 250 million athletes play it in more than 200 countries.