With an increase of nearly five million players since 2019, tennis participation in the United States has outpaced other racquet sports, according to Sports Marketing Surveys analysis. 

SMS released its findings and other data as a follow-up to the Physical Activity Council’s (PAC) Participation Report, an annual study that reports and monitors more than 120 sports and activities played by American consumers.

Earlier this year, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced the PAC study’s latest findings: 

  1. More than 22.6 million players took to the court in 2021, a 4.5 percent increase from 2020 and a 27.9 percent increase from 2019. 
  2. Tennis participation grew by 4.9 million players over the last two years, outpacing pickleball, badminton, table tennis, and padel combined.
  3. In 2021, participation among kids ages 6-to-17 grew by half, from 4.6 million in 2019 to 6.9 million. Over the same period, Hispanic and Latino players increased by 60 percent (2 million in 2019 to 3.2 million), and participation among Black players increased by nearly 44 percent (1.6 million in 2019 to 2.3 million.)

Doubles Play
Data from the Tennis Industry Association also reported an increase in racquet sales last year of 22.7 percent in total units (3.4 million units) and 46.2 percent in total dollars ($122.9 million) compared to 2020. The 3.4 million wholesale racquet units represent the largest year-end racquet unit total since 2010, while the $122.9 million in racquet dollar shipments is the largest year-end total on record.

Photo courtesy UNC Asheville