The past year has been brutal in so many ways for sports participation, particularly at the youth level. But according to an annual study commissioned by the Physical Activity Council (PAC) and shared with USA TODAY Sports, tennis has boomed during the pandemic with an estimated 21.64 million Americans picking up a racquet in 2020, up 22.4 percent after several years of stagnant participation.
“It’s some of the best growth numbers we’ve ever seen,” U.S. Tennis Association CEO and executive director Mike Dowse said in a phone interview. “We knew it was coming, but I don’t know if we expected the numbers to be as powerful as they were. It’s definitely a silver lining to what was a challenging year.”