Tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world. According to various reports, it stands as the 4th most popular sport with around a billion fans across the globe. Tennis attendances are usually very good, especially on the ATP and WTA Tour.
Tennis stadiums are comparatively smaller than football or cricket stadiums. For instance, the Arthur Ashe Stadium is one of the biggest tennis arenas with a capacity of 23,771. Compare that to Camp Nou, Barcelona Football Club’s stadium, which has a capacity of 99,354 or the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which has a capacity of 100,024.
Tennis Attendance Records
It is obvious that the stadiums of established tennis events are much smaller. But there are many instances where the attendance for a tennis matches has shot up significantly. Stadiums of other sports, usually football, are often used for such events with a bit of temporary construction.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the the 5 most attended tennis matches of all time.
2017 Davis Cup, France vs Belgium
The Davis Cup final clash between France and Belgium took place in the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille, France. Always a raucous affair, the Davis Cup event was attended by 27,448 fans. France won the clash to lift their 10th Davis Cup title. However, this is the only official match that figures in the list.
1973 Battle of the Sexes, Billie Jean-King vs Bobby Riggs
The “Battle of the Sexes” remains one of the biggest spectacles in the sport to this day. The Houston Astrodome hosted the highly anticipated match, with 30,492 fans and spectators present.
The match also garnered a mind-boggling 90 million viewers worldwide. King won the match in straight sets 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. The attendance record stood the test of time for 37 years!
2010 Battle of Belgium, Kim Clijsters vs Serena Williams
Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin were the original players in the exhibition event. However due to injury concerns, Henin pulled out and Serena Williams stepped in her place. 35,681 fans spectated the match in Brussels, Belgium.
Clijsters won the clash 6-3, 6-2 at the King Baudouin Stadium.
2019 The Greatest Match, Roger Federer vs Alexander Zverev
Another exhibition match played in Mexico City, Mexico. 42,517 spectators attended the clash between the veteran and young gun. A bull ring, Plaza de Toros, was converted into a tennis court for the special occasion.
2020 Match in Africa, Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal played an exhibition event in South Africa for the Match a few days back. The Match in Africa raised $3.5 million for the Roger Federer Foundation. A whopping 51,954 fans attended the spectacle.
Roger won the exhibition match, beating Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the Cape Town Stadium. Moreover, Federer also won the doubles clash with his partner Bill Gates by beating Nadal and Trevor Noah 6-3.