Tennis Experiences Growing Pains

Tennis Grows Up
According to the annual research survey conducted by the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) and the USTA ("Survey"), tennis has shown continued participation growth for 5 consecutive years since 2003. In 2008, 26.9 million people have reported playing tennis regularly. “Tennis is stronger and healthier than it has been in decades,” said Jane Brown Grimes, USTA President and Chairman of the Board. “It’s great to see that the collective efforts of the USTA and our industry partners over the past five years are producing such great results.” The USTA has done a lot to support this positive growth, by making tennis more accessible to the general public. For instance, the USTA has worked hard to give underprivileged youth increased access to tennis programs and training facilities nationwide.

“By almost every key metric and based on the trends, the sport remains poised for growth in the coming years,” said Dave Haggerty, President of the Tennis Industry Association.

Significant survey findings:

  • The percentage of frequent players (those who played 21 times or more during the year) rose to 5.62 million, up 7% from 2007 (5.25 million)

  • The sport is retaining the players it has, as the number of continuing players is up 9% to 15.1 million from 13.9 million last year. A continuing player is defined as one who has played for more than a year.

  • The percentage of NEW players rose 3%, to 5.91 million.

US Wins!

To help bolster the excitement surrounding USA tennis, the USTA has brought the Davis Cup ("Link")to areas growing in tennis population. Remember Portland, Oregon in 2007? Well, yesterday it announced that Birmingham, Alabama was next on the list of hosts for the 2009 Davis Cup between the US and Switzerland, featuring Roger Federer, Andy Roddick and the Bryan Brothers. Imagine sitting in the Alabama stands watching the great Roger Federer whiz a steaming backhand down the line! A dream come true for countless fans!

And while we’re on the topic celebrities, the industry has greatly benefited from the support and contribution of US stars such as Andy Roddick, James Blake, and the Williams sisters. Their active involvement has certainly helped the sport to gain further notoriety.

This is fantastic news for everyone! We now have more players to compete against at the recreational level and hopefully, future young tennis stars to look forward too.


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