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A total of 28 000 kilos of strawberries and 7000 litres of dairy cream have just been consumed at the 2007 Championships, Wimbledon, along with 150 000 glasses of Pimm’s and 17 000 bottles of champagne. The largest single annual sports catering operation in Europe has once again been a resounding success for the organisers, but what about success for the players and more especially for the nations that they represent?
Tennis is an immensely popular global sport with 205 nations affiliated to the international governing body, the International Tennis Federation (ITF), and almost 25 million active players in the USA alone.
Of all the traditional American sports, tennis is the only one that has shown a steady growth in measured sales (+10.3%)1 and a growth in participation (+4.3%)2 over the last 5 years. The 2005 USTA survey shows an increase in the frequency of participation (559 million played on occasion in 2005, compared to 491 million in 2004) as well as an increase in the actual number of participants (+1.1 million).
So, grassroots tennis is booming in the USA but, according to those involved with the elite game, US …
Competing interests: None declared.