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Grassroots tennis sees “very strong growth” in participation numbers

Annual participation amongst 16-34 year olds grew by 48% (Image: LTA)

Tennis saw “very strong growth” in participation at grassroots level during 2022, with the number of people playing tennis reaching 4.7m – an increase of 43%.

The figure comes from the Finance and Governance Report for 2022, published by the sport’s national governing body, the LTA. The report shows that there has been healthy increases in the number of both young people and women playing the sport.

The number of children who played tennis in 2022 stood at 3,630,000, an increase of 418,000 from 2021.

Meanwhile, women’s participation grew by 34%, while the number of 16-34 year-olds who took part in tennis during 2022 grew by 48% from the year before.

There were successes at the elite level too, with impressive performances from British professional players. The British team reached the semi-finals of the Billie Jean King Cup for the first time since 1981 and the number of British players winning a first round match at Wimbledon was the highest since 1984 – with Cam Norrie reaching the semi-finals of the event. There were also Grand Slam titles for Neal Skupski, Joe Salisbury, Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid, and Andy Lapthorne.

Scott Lloyd, LTA Chief Executive, said: “2022 was a year of real achievement for British tennis at both the grassroots and top professional level.

“We made strong progress against our plans for delivering on our five-year strategy to open tennis up and achieved a number of our objectives a year early.

“There were challenges throughout the year, but we have tried to ensure the sport is thriving at all levels, continued to raise the visibility of the sport and have given our British players the best possible support.

“Although the financial picture was challenging this year, taken as a whole, the past four years have resulted in a loss of £6.4m despite the pandemic, volatility in world markets and unforeseen factors such as the fines from the ATP and WTA – whilst during this time we delivered significant growth for the sport.

“We are continuing to invest across the length and breadth of the sport this year and, as well as many other initiatives, will be renovating thousands of public park courts across the country in partnership with the LTA Tennis Foundation and UK Government.”

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