The ITF has published its 2021 Global Tennis Report ©ITF

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has said its 2021 Global Tennis Report has presented a positive outlook for tennis despite challenges of the global pandemic.

The governing body initially published a Global Tennis Report in 2019, which outlined the worldwide picture of tennis performance and participation.

Data in the report has been used to inform the ITF’s global development strategy which sees over $10 million (£7.3 million/€8.5 million) invested each year to ensure the sustainability and long-term health of tennis.

The 2021 report found there are more than 87 million players within the 41 nations that contributed, an increase of 4.5 per cent compared with the 2019 report.

The 2019 report included data from 195 nations, by comparison.

The ITF said positive growth has also been reported in the total number of tennis courts, clubs and coaches.

It said the findings paint a picture of a sport in good health, despite the impact of the pandemic, with the governing body determining the data points to tennis’s strong foundations.

"Together with our 210 member nations, the ITF is committed to increasing the number of people playing tennis by an additional 30 million by 2030," the ITF said.

"Grassroots tennis is where it all begins, and our sport continues to prove its popularity and resilience despite the challenges of the past 18 months.

"The ITF would like to thank the 41 national associations that supplied the detailed data which has made this report possible.

"By having a clear understanding of the global landscape, the ITF can ensure an effective international development strategy and channel investment where it is needed most.

"This has never been more important than in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic."

The ITF said it will continue to work with member nations to continue to implement a global development strategy and digital innovation, which includes the worldwide rollout of the ITF World Tennis Number and aiming to accelerate growth.

Aims to increase the number of tennis players globally and provide development support for the most talented players, particularly in regions where resources are most needed, have been outlined by the ITF.

The report also contains performance data for 2017-2020, enabling the ITF to measure and benchmark its member nations’ involvement in the elite levels of the game.

Data is provided for the number of players from each nation, with junior and professional rankings and Grand Slam tournament main draw and qualifying places.

Performance data from 2019 was used for the 2021 report as it was deemed to be the most representative of the international game given the hiatus in the 2020 tennis calendar.

The data showed 113 nations with a professionally ranked player, while junior players from 148 nations held an ITF Junior World Tennis Tour ranking.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics also saw 45 nations represented, along with 142 nations competing in the Davis Cup and 116 nations competing in the Billie Jean King Cup.