ERSA Pro Stringer Issue 5 - 2018 prostringer5-18 web | Page 17 INDUSTRY NEWS New US Tennis Participation Report Available from TIA The 2018 Tennis Participation Report has been published and is available for TIA USA members. The 24-page report, produced by the Tennis Industry Association in partnership with the Physical Activity Council, includes the most recent data and trends through year-end 2017 for tennis participation, consumer spending, fitness and health, fans, tennis interest, cross participation in other sports , and more. Among the findings: • While the total number of tennis participants for 2017 declined by 2.2% from the previous year, to 17.68 million players, overall participation has remained fairly consistent over the past eight years. • “Core” tennis participants decreased 3.5% from 2016 to 2017, to 9.52 million. Core players account for 93% of all tennis play occasions and 80% of the total “spend” in the tennis economy. • The number of times people took to the courts also fell in 2017. The total 17.68 million participants played 396.9 million times (an average of 22 play occasions per tennis player), which is down 6.6% from 425 million play occasions in 2016. • The 2017 study indicates there are 15.74 million non-players who are interested in playing tennis, and another 13.7 million who consider themselves tennis players but have not played in the last two years. For these former players, “not having anyone to play with” remains their main response (34%) and the industry’s main concern for lagging participation growth, play frequency and retention levels. • Cardio Tennis continues to grow, with total participation in 2017 increasing 4.5% to 2.2 million players. • As an activity that includes many of the latest trends in fitness—such as social engagement, technol- ogy use, and interval training—Cardio Tennis has grown 167% since it was first measured in 2008. • Tennis players are twice as likely as the general U.S. population to consider their fitness level as “good”—51.1% of all tennis players in 2017 described their fitness level as “good,” compared to 25.7% of the total U.S. population. • When it comes to general physical health, 63.2% of tennis participants say their overall health is “good,” compared to 42.5% of the U.S. population. • The most popular alternative activities for tennis players include: walking for fitness (50% of tennis players), bowling (43%), running/jogging (43%), bowling (43%), treadmill (37%), free weights (36%), hiking (34%), and bicycling (32%). Malaysia Open 2018: Lee Chong Wei wins incredible 12th title! Bukit Jalil, Malaysia – Lee Chong Wei reaffirmed his legendary status with a championship win at the Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open 2018 — his 12th title in 15 years at the event. Wei ended the 21-match comeback win streak of Kento Momota, to send the home crowd into euphoric celebration. In other areas, the tournament seemed dominated by Japan, as Japanese players took first in women’s doubles, and first and second in men’s doubles. At their last meeting at the semi-finals of the Asia Championships in April, it was Momota who claimed victory. Having been on a winning streak since then, many expected him to deny Wei his dozen titles. But at this event, it was Wei who controlled the match, vary- ing between softer shots and his deadly jump smash to win 21-17, 23-21. In the end, Momota congratulated the champion, telling BWF “He changed the game today, compared to our last meeting. Today he played several variations at the net, and he was fast and powerful in his smashes. Even though he is 13 years older than me, he is still very strong and I have a lot of respect for him.” 17 ERSA PRO STRINGER // ISSUE 5-2018