How Many People Play Tennis Worldwide? Surprising Stats

Are you curious about how many people play tennis worldwide? Tennis is a popular sport enjoyed by millions of people around the world, whether it’s playing recreationally with friends or competing at a professional level. According to a report from Tennis Industry Association (TIA), there were approximately 87 million tennis players worldwide in 2024.

In the United States, tennis participation has been on the rise in recent years. The Physical Activity Council reported that tennis participation increased by 22% in 2020, with 21.64 million people hitting the courts. This surge in participation was attributed to the sport being an ideal social-distancing activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, U.S. tennis participation grew by 1 million players, with more than 23.6 million people playing the sport. This represents an increase of 5.9 million players, or 33 percent, since the start of 2020.

Global Tennis Participation – Key Insights

Tennis is a popular sport played by millions of people worldwide. According to the International Tennis Federation’s Global Tennis Report 2021, approximately 87 million people play tennis worldwide, which accounts for 1.17% of the global population. This report is a crucial source of information that provides insight into the sport’s performance and participation, which informs the ITF’s global development strategy.

Female players make up nearly half (47%) of tennis players worldwide, while male players make up the remaining 53%. This gender split is consistent with the previous year’s data, indicating that tennis is a sport that appeals to both genders.

When it comes to country dominance, China, the US, and India have over 50% of the world’s tennis player population. This data highlights the sport’s global appeal and its ability to transcend borders and cultures.

In North America, tennis is a popular sport, with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Foundation working to promote the sport’s growth and development. The Tennis Industry Association (TIA) also provides valuable information about the sport’s popularity and participation in the United States.

In terms of professional tennis players, there were 3619 ranked players in 2024, according to the Global Tennis Report. This data indicates that tennis is a sport that provides opportunities for aspiring athletes to compete at the highest level.

Overall, tennis is a sport that has gained public interest and popularity over the years. With approximately 87 million people playing tennis worldwide, it is clear that the sport has a significant following and appeal.

Why the Fluctuations in Tennis Participation?

Tennis participation has seen a fluctuation in recent years. While there has been a surge in the number of people playing tennis, there have also been periods of decline. Here are some factors that can influence the popularity of tennis:


Accessibility is a key factor in determining the popularity of tennis. The number of tennis courts, availability of equipment, and cost of lessons all play a role in how many people can play the sport. If tennis courts are not readily available or if the cost of lessons is high, then it can limit the number of people who can participate in the sport.

Media Coverage

Major tennis tournaments and star players can ignite interest and participation surges. The Grand Slam tournaments, for example, are some of the most prestigious events in tennis and attract a lot of media attention. When star players perform well, it can also generate a lot of interest in the sport and inspire more people to take up tennis.

Cultural Factors

Cultural factors can also influence the popularity of tennis. Some countries have a stronger tradition of tennis involvement, which can influence popularity and accessibility long term. For example, countries like Spain and France have a strong tradition of tennis and produce many top players.

Competing Sports

The rise of similar racquet sports like padel tennis can sometimes shift where potential players focus their athletic attention. Padel tennis is a popular sport in some countries and can compete with tennis for players. When a new sport becomes popular, it can draw players away from tennis and impact participation levels.

Tennis Participation Trends

Tennis is a popular sport played worldwide, with millions of people participating every year. The United States has seen an increase in tennis popularity over the past few years, with the number of tennis players growing by 33% since the start of 2020. In 2022, more than 23.6 million people played tennis in the US, marking the third consecutive year of growth.

Historical Growth: Compared to other major sports, tennis participation has mostly stayed level in recent decades. However, the sport has seen a surge in popularity in the past few years, with more people taking up the sport. This growth can be attributed to various factors, such as increased media coverage, the rise of tennis stars like Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal, and the sport’s accessibility.

Emerging Markets: Tennis popularity is growing rapidly in countries like Great Britain and the Czech Republic. In Great Britain, tennis is the second most popular sport after football, with over 500,000 people playing the sport regularly. In the Czech Republic, tennis is the most popular sport, with over 300,000 registered players.

The Impact of the Pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on tennis participation, with many tennis clubs and facilities closing down temporarily. However, tennis is an outdoor sport that allows for social distancing, making it a safer option during the pandemic. As a result, tennis participation in the US increased by 22% in 2020, with 21.64 million people hitting the courts. The sport is expected to recover quickly from the pandemic, with more people taking up tennis as a way to stay active and maintain social connections.

Benefits of Playing Tennis: Why the Numbers Matter

Tennis is a popular sport that has been enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels for many years. In fact, according to the Physical Activity Council, tennis is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States, with over 17 million people playing the game on a regular basis.

Physical Health

One of the main reasons why tennis is so popular is because it offers a wide range of physical health benefits. Playing tennis on a regular basis can help you improve your cardiovascular health, increase your aerobic capacity, and lower your risk of heart disease. Additionally, tennis can help you develop better coordination, balance, and flexibility, as well as improve your bone density and muscle tone.

Mental and Emotional Wellness

In addition to the physical health benefits, playing tennis can also have a positive impact on your mental and emotional well-being. Tennis can help you reduce stress, boost your mood, and improve your cognitive function. Playing tennis requires you to be fully present in the moment, which can help you develop better focus and concentration skills.

Social Connection

Tennis is also a great way to connect with others and build social connections. Joining a tennis club or team can help you meet new people and develop friendships with others who share your love of the game. Additionally, playing in tennis tournaments can give you the opportunity to travel and compete against other players from around the world.

Whether you are a male or female tennis player, a professional or a junior player, or simply enjoy playing tennis for fun, there are many benefits to playing this popular sport. So, grab your tennis racket and tennis balls and head out to the court to enjoy all that tennis has to offer!

How Can We Get More People Playing Tennis?

If you’re looking to increase the popularity of tennis, there are several ways you can do so. Here are a few suggestions:

Increasing Accessibility

One of the main barriers to entry for tennis is the cost. Tennis can be an expensive sport to play, especially if you’re looking to purchase high-quality equipment or take lessons. To make tennis more accessible, consider implementing programs that provide free or low-cost equipment rentals, as well as offering scholarships or financial aid for lessons.

Grassroots Programs

Grassroots programs are a great way to get more people interested in tennis. These programs typically focus on introducing tennis to youth and beginners, and can be run through schools, community centers, or local tennis clubs. Successful grassroots programs often have a strong emphasis on fun and socialization, as well as skill-building.

Promotion and Visibility

Promoting tennis and showcasing its role models can help to increase its popularity. One way to do this is by highlighting the achievements of female and male players, such as Serena Williams and Roger Federer, who have helped to make tennis more accessible and exciting to watch. You can also promote tennis through social media and other online platforms, as well as by organizing events and tournaments that showcase the sport’s excitement and skill.


Incorporating technology into tennis can also help to increase its popularity. For example, the Nintendo Switch has a popular tennis game that can be played by people of all ages and skill levels. Additionally, technology can be used to improve the spectator experience, such as by providing real-time stats and analysis during matches.

By implementing these strategies, you can help to make tennis more accessible, exciting, and popular to a wider audience.


While the millions who play tennis around the world are impressive, imagine the impact if even a fraction more took up the sport. Think of the increased fitness, the friendships formed, the pure joy unleashed. It’s a reminder that tennis isn’t just about numbers; it’s about the potential that lies within each of us to discover the power of the game.


Q1: How many people play tennis worldwide?

A: Estimates show that approximately 87 million people play tennis globally. This might seem like a lot, but it represents only a small fraction of the world’s population, meaning there’s huge potential for the sport to continue growing!

Q2: Is tennis a popular sport?

A: Tennis is definitely a popular sport! It enjoys a large global following, with major tournaments like Wimbledon and the US Open drawing massive audiences. While participation numbers can fluctuate, tennis remains a beloved and widely played sport worldwide.

Q3: Which countries have the most tennis players?

A: China, the United States, and India are the top three countries in terms of tennis player population. These countries have invested in tennis infrastructure, promotion, and development programs, leading to a strong tennis culture.

Q4: Are more people playing tennis now than in the past?

A: Recent years have seen an encouraging increase in tennis participation. Factors like high-profile tournaments and the focus on the health benefits of tennis contribute to its resurgence in popularity.

Q5: Why should I consider playing tennis?

A: Tennis offers a fantastic full-body workout, improving your fitness and coordination. It’s also a great way to boost mental focus, relieve stress, and make social connections. Plus, it’s a sport you can play for a lifetime!

What’s your Reaction?

Author Information

Leave a Comment