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papertank 10-17-2013 08:41 AM

Where in the world is tennis the most popular?
I went to Spain last summer and I expected tennis to be pretty popular considering they have the most players in the top 100, but I found that it wasn't much more popular there than it is in the US today. Everyone knew Nadal, some knew Ferrer, but hardly any other players. Football was much more popular. Does anyone know where in the world tennis is the most popular?

Crisstti 10-17-2013 08:46 AM

I'm sure it must be more popular in Spain than in the US. What gave you the impression it isn't?.

Tennis is very popular in South America. At least any big news - say slam finals - are mentioned in the front page of newspapers. Something like the winner of a masters will be on news on TV, when it was even rumoured Nadal was going to come here it was in the front page of newspapers.

When Marcelo Ríos would play a big match, you could literally hardnly find people on the streets, kinda like what happens when there's a big football match going on.

Kenshin 10-17-2013 08:57 AM

I live in Asia and tennis is very popular. I'm not sure if everyone knows Federer or Nadal but we have a lot of club players. I'm waiting for Kei Nishikori to crack top 10.

Backspin1183 10-17-2013 09:04 AM

Tennis is the most popular individual sport, but it can't compete with football (not the American one which shouldn't even be called football!) in most countries of the world.

Wilander Fan 10-17-2013 09:10 AM

IMO, Australia, England and France would be the top 3 and the US in a distant 4th. No coincidence these are GS countries. These are also the major equipment makers, Babalot, Dunlop, Wilson, Prince etc.

I have to disagree about Asia. Thailand might be the exception but it really has no base of support anywhere else.

ScentOfDefeat 10-17-2013 09:12 AM

It has always been pretty popular in western/central Europe. When I lived in Belgium, we had tennis on TV all the time (mid to late 90's). I don't know if it's still as popular as it used to be. Anyway, that's how I started watching.

Eurosport had very good coverage of the tennis season in those days, except for the grass season - that's when I had to switch to the BBC. But most national TV channels, either French, German or Dutch, would always cover their home tournaments even when Eurosport didn't cover them.

icarus180 10-17-2013 09:14 AM

Tennis seemed very popular in S. Korea, especially among professional men.

Saw lots of people toting rackets in Singapore.

From my discussions with French rec players, tennis is considered the national sport of France. There's an awfully large French contingent at my club here in the States.

ScentOfDefeat 10-17-2013 09:31 AM


Originally Posted by icarus180 (Post 7826607)
From my discussions with French rec players, tennis is considered the national sport of France. There's an awfully large French contingent at my club here in the States.

It's a bit like their club football (soccer). So many good conditions and infrastructures, so much promise and talent, and yet very few results if compared to expectations and to other countries of similar capacity. It's a strange phenomenon.

tipsa...don'tlikehim! 10-17-2013 09:43 AM

don't know about many countries, but in France it is very popular.
I think it is the second most popular france after football (soccer).

France got a population of 60 millions people (more or less)
Number of people owning a license to play tennis in tournaments was 1.134.571 in year 2012.
I got one myself

tipsa...don'tlikehim! 10-17-2013 09:45 AM


Homeboy Hotel 10-17-2013 09:48 AM

How are we answering the thread? By continent/country/city?

Continent I would say Europe.

Terenigma 10-17-2013 10:01 AM

I think France/Australia would be quite high. I wanna say england is up there but im not so sure people care about tennis that much here when its the non-grass season. I do think the easten european countres that dont have a big football club (im lookin at you spain) would be the best place to go for tennis fans.

ScentOfDefeat 10-17-2013 10:02 AM

If it's continent, I'd definitely say Europe. This might be untrue, but I'm almost certain Europe has a higher percentage of people who have basic knowledge of tennis.

BlueB 10-17-2013 10:20 AM


Originally Posted by Wilander Fan (Post 7826599)
IMO, Australia, England and France would be the top 3 and the US in a distant 4th.

Australia would be Rugby, Cricket, Ausie Rules, possibly sailing, before Tennis.
England, Soccer (the real football), Rugby, Cricket, before Tennis.
France, Soccer, Basketball, ..., Tennis.
USA, Football (the wrong one), Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, ..., Tennis

When I was growing up in Yugoslavia, tennis was fairly popular and showed often on TV. I'd imagine even more so nowadays. However, still nowhere near the Soccer, Basketball, and probably still behind the Handball, Voleyball, Waterpolo.

ollinger 10-17-2013 12:18 PM

Somebody looked at computer activity related to tennis in many countries and deduced that the most interest was in Australia, New Zealand and France.

chicagodude 10-17-2013 12:57 PM

Depends, you mean as a pro-sport, or recreationally?

Recreationally (clublevel), it's very popular in many European countries, Korea, Japan, I guess the US as well.

As a pro-sport, Japan and Korea....not so much. France mainly I think in Europe, Russia, UK probably, maybe some other eastern European countries?

Japan and Korea seem to have a similar issue as my home-country (=Netherlands): many recreational players and great facilities everywhere and plenty of interest, but no top-players for some reason....

Edit: okay we did have a good stretch in the late 90's, with Krajicek, 2 or 3 other top-20/30 players and Eltingh/Haarhuis as a top doubles-team, but nowadays it's pretty bad...

chrischris 11-07-2013 05:13 AM

Spain is soccer land. Its the no.1 sport no question.

Certain areas have lots of tennis. . Alicante / Barcelona/ Mallorca etc..
Relative other countries worldwide regarding tennis , i would say its way up there if not even the most widespread.

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