The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has just released the “ITF Global Tennis Report 2021,” which shows a positive outlook for tennis compared to the 2019 report, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2021 report indicates that there are now more than 87.2 million players in the 41 nations that contributed data, an increase of 4.5 percent in these countries since 2018. The ITF aims for 120 million players by 2030, and the 41 nations of the new study are estimated to represent more than 90 percent of the world’s players, coaches, clubs and courts, explains the ITF.
By region, Asia has the highest level of participation with more than 33 million players, namely 38.3 percent of the total. It is followed by North America with a 27.3 percent share of the global playing population, Europe (25.9%), South America (5.2%), Oceania (1.9%), and finally Africa and Central America & Caribbean (both at 0.7%). Among these seven regions, North America is the one with the highest percentage of its population playing tennis (6.5 percent). In Europe, the percentage of the playing population is of 3.2 percent. North America is also the region with the highest proportion of tennis clubs relative to its population, with 6.541 people per tennis club – or 0.15 clubs per 1,000 people.
Women represent 40.7 percent of the global playing population. With 50.3 percent of its players being female, Africa is the region with the most gender-balanced playing population.
The number of tennis courts operating in the 41 countries covered by the survey, both indoor and outdoor, has increased by 28.2 percent since 2018, reaching 578,681 identified courts in 2020. Among these tennis courts, 93.3 percent are concentrated in three regions: North America, Europe and Asia. The largest share of tennis courts is in the U.S. (37%), followed by China (8.6%), Germany (7.9%), and France (5.4%).