For the third consecutive year, tennis participation grew in the United States, according to the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA).
More than 23.6 million people played the sport in 2022, an increase of one million people for the year, according to data compiled by the Tennis Industry Association. When added to the increase from 2020 and 2021, participation has growth by 5.9 million people or 33 percent since the start of 2020.
“The increase in tennis participation for the third year in a row is not only important for the health of our sport, but also for the health and well-being of those who have made the game a part of their lives,” USTA Chairman of the Board and President Brian Hainline said in the announcement. “Tennis has a multitude of benefits, ranging from the mental to the physical, and we are excited to help lead the continued growth of a sport that helps players of all ages and ability levels stay active and healthy.”
Growth in tennis participation could have an impact on health and well-being. Several studies have shown that tennis players on average live an additional 9.7 years compared to those who are sedentary. That number ranked highest among all sports included within the study, beating out soccer, cycling, swimming and jogging. Participation in racquet sports, including tennis, reduces risk of all-cause mortality by 47 percent and cardiovascular-related death by 56 percent.
To increase tennis participation in 2022, the USTA worked with more than 100 facilities across the country to provide technical assistance to build or refurbish courts at public parks and tennis facilities. More than $750,000 in total was awarded to more than 45 projects, with $285,000 going to new construction projects. These efforts represent more than 585 courts completed, and an impact of more than $50 million in tennis infrastructure.
The USTA also issued the first ever Tennis and Pickleball Statement of Guidance, developed with park professionals and court contractors, detailing ways that public parks could most efficiently, economically and effectively incorporate the growth of both tennis and pickleball within their communities.
Tennis was offered in more than 20,000 schools across the country, as part of their overall physical education programs. Since the start of 2017, the USTA has donated equipment to 8,300-plus schools, including donations to nearly 1,600 schools in 2022, giving 5.9 million children access to the sport.
In addition, the USTA League, which is the country’s largest adult tennis league for players of all skill levels, grew by 11 percent in 2022, with 284,000 unique participants competing throughout the year.