Tennis popularity by country might not surprise you

Based on a recent study, some countries that love tennis might not surprise you, but some others might.
Carlos Alcaraz at the French Open
Carlos Alcaraz at the French Open / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

Let's say you are done with the politics and what sport gets the most love in your native country and you want to move to a nation where everyone loves the greatest sport on earth, tennis. Thankfully, a recent study by a site called Statista can help you find a new home. Or at least they can help you find a country where you will have some fellow tennis fans.

The survey Statista used was based on asking a large number of people is different countries what sports they follow. Not just what sports the person is somewhat aware of, but which sports they make room for in their lives. One might not be surprised to learn that many of the most tennis-loving countries have highly-ranked - or all-time great - players from that nation.

As far as the United States, though? No. The U.S. was not among the countries that like tennis the most. This is also unlikely to be shocking as Americans appear to focus on American football, basketball, and baseball. Tennis is just a weekend event before drinks are served, maybe.

Popularity of tennis is surprising in a couple of countries

But if you live in the United States and need more tennis fans around you, Spain is your country. According to the study, 30 percent of Spaniards follow tennis closely. This is four percentage points higher than second-best Australia and Switzerland. Spaniards also have two clear reasons for watching a lot of tennis: Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal.

Nadal is a 22-time Grand Slam winner. The 21-year-old Alcaraz has already won three majors, including the 2024 French Open. Winning brings eyes to TV screens.

Australia has always been rabid about following the sport. Many Swiss might have become fans when Roger Federer started winning in the 2000s. Or maybe they just know watching high-level tennis is a great way to spend a day.

The global average per country was only 15 percent, though. That seems low, and well...sad. The sport deserves better.

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A couple of the nations that rank above the global average are a little surprising. These nations are India at 22 percent - seventh globally - and Peru (12th). India has produced a number of good players, especially in doubles, but not so many one would assume tennis would be a big draw in India. In the Open era, no Peruvian men's player has been raked inside the top ten.

Hopefully, an American men's player will soon emerge to be a consistent threat to the top five of the ATP tour. The women are doing their job and being dangerous in all kinds of tournaments. American men need to do the same and increase tennis' popularity in the U.S.

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