On Wednesday, Tennis Canada did their annual review, starting with some fantastic news: the popularity of tennis keeps growing in the country.

In fact, it grows so much that according to a study realised by the Canadian federation, tennis is in fifth place among the 14 chosen sports in Canada, making it the best individual sport in the country (the first four are team sports). Moreover, in Quebec province, tennis comes in second position, following, unsurprisingly, ice hockey (which is a religion in the province).

The same study shows that as far as the players are concerned, Roger Federer (25%) dominates on the men’s side, followed by Rafael Nadal (21%) and Milos Raonic (20%). On the women’s side, Serena Williams (26%) is the clear favourite, followed by Eugenie Bouchard (21%).

Those were some of the key facts that came out of a nationwide study that’s been realised in the course of the last year.

Tennis in Canada: a few more numbers

A few other interesting numbers of the study can be highlighted:

  • 6,547,000 Canadians played tennis in the last year;
  • 69% of the people taking part in the study played tennis at least four times in the last 12 months (a 15% increase compared to 2016);
  • 2,936,000 Canadians are considered regular players.

Another fact drew our attention: the reason people express to explain their interest in playing tennis. They consider that it is a safe sport, thus prompting them to take the road of the courts. In fact, tennis is second to only baseball when it comes to having the least number of injuries.

Safe to say that the fuzzy yellow ball is growing healthily in Canada (no pun intended).

One hiccup: the lack of covered courts in the country

In this cornucopia of great news, there has been one little hiccup: there are only 750 covered courts available across Canada, making it next to last among industrial countries, with only one court per 50,000 inhabitants.

Considering that outside courts can only be played on for less than half of the year, it is a big problem.

However, Michel Downey, Tennis Canada’s President and CEO, has announced that a new program in this regard will be launched in 2019: “Canada has a dire shortage of accessible covered courts, especially when compared to other leading tennis nations”, he said. “There are only 750 accessible covered courts in all of Canada, which represents around 1 for every 50,000 Canadians. European nations, on the other hand, count 1 for every 15,000 or less. Therefore, in 2019, we will launch a new municipal partnership framework in which we hope to successfully advocate for municipalities across Canada to invest in the health and well-being of their communities by partnering in affordable and accessible ‘bubbled’ tennis courts in parks. An affordable six-court bubble can accommodate up to 1,000 children and adults, allowing them to play tennis throughout the year.”

We may only hope that the municipalities will join in Tennis Canada’s efforts to grow and promote the game.