Impact of Pro Game on Tennis Participation

Posted on April 6, 2016

WISLEY, UNITED KINGDOM – April 2016 – SMS INC. can exclusively reveal data that proves how professional events can affect a nation’s tennis participation figures.

Specifically, the company’s new research clearly displays the positive impact of hosting a Grand Slam tournament.

The four Grand Slam host nations, Australia, France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, are the countries where adults are most likely to play tennis at least once per year, according to SMS INC.

The same nations also feature in the top seven states where adults are most likely to play at least once a quarter, alongside Argentina, Germany and the Netherlands.

Australia lead the way in participation, with 11% of adults playing at least once a year and 7% playing at least once a quarter. In the UK, 7% play once a year, the same as in France, although the frequency of participation in France is higher; 5.1% of the population (3.09 million participants) play at least 12 times a year compared with just 3.6% in the UK.

Getting players involved during adolescence appears to be fundamental to this success, with a correlation revealed between hosting a Grand Slam and the age at which a nation’s players first take to the court.

Grand Slam hosts Australia, France and the UK all feature in the top five countries for exposing youngsters to the game, with the average current player in each of these countries introduced to the sport before the age of 15. The UK and France are in fact joint second on this measure, behind only South Africa, which has much lower tennis participation overall. The USA lags behind its Grand Slam counterparts in ninth place with an average starting age of just under 17.

By contrast, the average tennis player in Brazil, Germany and the Netherlands began playing in their early twenties. Seven further countries have an average starting age of between 18 and 20.

However, SMS INC. can also reveal that hosting prestigious professional events has almost no bearing on participants’ frequency of playing. The research shows that Argentinian and Brazilian players play more than 50 times a year on average, demonstrating an enthusiasm that will surely only be bolstered by the arrival of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

France leads among Grand Slam host nations, with players averaging 33 appearances on a tennis court annually.

SMS INC’s participation research covers 21 countries in a rolling 2-year programme. The next wave is available now.

For more information or to enquire about purchasing any of SMS INC.’s industry leading participation studies please contact:


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