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.