Is Tennis A Popular Sport in USA? (Part 1)

In the U.S. where basketball, hockey, football, and baseball take center stage, tennis also caught  huge attention with a reported 18 million players. Even more number than this are tennis fans and watch tennis matches on daily basis.

August 21, 2018 – Thanasi Kokkinakis in action against Bernard Tomic during qualifying at the 2018 US Open.

Additionally, over 15 million Americans report they are interested in playing tennis but have yet played. As the population of the U.S. gradually increases, so have the number of tennis players and fans.
Many people don’t know that tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world. According to, tennis currently stays at number 4 in popularity with over one billion worldwide fans.

The only three sports more popular than tennis are soccer (4.1 billion fans), cricket (2.3 billion fans), and field hockey (2.1 billion fans). For those in the United States, tey know that cricket and field hockey are rarely followed.

In the U.S., soccer stays behind the major four sports in popularity. But due to its popularity on a global basis, it has developed a large fan base in the U.S. as well.

With tennis having its own channel since 2003 (The Tennis Channel) and tournaments being broadcasted almost every week on TV, the sport is growing in popularity. The Four Grand Slams are coming up, which are the biggest tournaments of the year.

The total prize money for the tournament is $63 million, with an unprecedented $4 million going to the winner. In the last 18 years, the total prize money has increased a whopping 350%.
This proves that tennis is right on track to increase in popularity, not just in the U.S. or Australia, but throughout the world. With megastars such as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal dominant the sport for the last two decades, tennis will enjoy continued growth over time.

The beauty of tennis is that new stars are always ready to rise. A recent example is when 20-year-old Naomi Osaka amazed the world by easily beating the star Serena Williams in the 2018 U.S. Open.