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Tennis taking off in India

Tennis is on the rise in India.
by Alexandra Willis
Thursday 5 April 2012

A new report by SMG Insight and YouGov has revealed that tennis has become the second-most followed sport in India, with 44 per cent of Indians following tennis in the media at least once a week.

Cricket, as you would expect, remains the major focus, with 85 per cent of the survey's respondents watching cricket, and 62 per cent playing at least four times a year.

But tennis, which drew in record crowds when Delhi hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2010, is a growing force among India's population of 1.2 billion people. Thirty-three per cent of those polled watch the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, making them the most followed events in India behind cricket competitions, the football World Cup and the Hockey Asia Cup.

Not only that, the figures show that nearly a quarter of the population, 23 per cent, play tennis on a regular basis.

“This report shows that India, while mad for cricket in multiple forms and events, is emerging as a sports nation with interest spread across a range of activities and competitions," said Frank Saez, Managing Director of SMG Insight / YouGov. “Indian sport faces an exciting future."

“Though there has always been a strong relationship between the two – owing to heritage and tradition; these results reveal the growing prominence and popularity of tennis in an emerging market - a prospect that we are extremely excited about,” said Mick Desmond, Commercial Director at the AELTC.

The report is the second in a series of geographical sport market research publications by SMG Insight / YouGov following the 2011 release of Popularity and Participation of Sport in the Middle East and North Africa.

Top 10 Favourite Sports in India
Participate                          Follow
1 Cricket 62%                     Cricket 85%
2 Badminton 37%             Tennis 44%
3 Swimming 30%              Football (soccer) 41%
4 Table tennis 25%          Badminton 32%
5 Cycling 24%                     Motorsports 23%
6 Tennis 23%                      Swimming 22%
7 Football (soccer) 22% Table tennis 21%
8 Volleyball 16%              Boxing 16%
9 Basketball 15%              Basketball 15%
10 Go-karting 11%           Athletics 15%

Top 10 Sports Events in India

1 Cricket: IPL 72%
2 Cricket: World Cup 67%
3 Cricket: ICC World Twenty20 61%
4 Cricket: International Twenty20 matches 56%
5 Cricket: ICC Champions League 55%
6 Cricket: Test cricket 53%
7 Football: FIFA World Cup 49%
8 Hockey: Asia Cup 38%
9 Tennis: Grand Slam tournaments 33%
10 Football: English Premier League 33%

Total sample size was 1,100 Indian adults. Fieldwork was undertaken December 2011. The survey was carried out online. 

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