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Tennis, everyone? Participation up 22% in 2020, survey says

February 11, 2021 GMT
United States' Serena Williams makes a backhand return to Serbia's Nina Stojanovic during their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021.(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
United States' Serena Williams makes a backhand return to Serbia's Nina Stojanovic during their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021.(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — Tennis, everyone?

The sport played by Serena Williams and Roger Federer was a hit last year, with recreational participation rising 22% in the United States, according to an annual survey from the Physical Activity Council.

In a release announcing the survey results, U.S. Tennis Association CEO Mike Dowse tied that increase to tennis’s status as an “ideal social distancing sport” during the coronavirus pandemic.

About 21.5 million people picked up a racket and headed to a court in 2020. There were nearly 3 million new players, a 44% increase from a year earlier.

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According to the USTA, the Tennis Industry Association found that entry-level racket sales went up nearly 40%.

The USTA is one of eight sports associations listed as partners on the Physical Activity Council’s website, which says the survey uses a representative panel of more than 1 million Americans and includes about 18,000 online interviews.

The survey examined people about more than 120 activities.

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