There were nearly 18 million people playing tennis in the U.S. in 2015, a figure slightly higher than the previous four years. About 341 thousand students played tennis in high school in 2015/16, of which a slightly higher share, about 54 percent, was female. Aside of practicing the sport, Americans are interested in watching the sport as well. As of 2016, between about six and seven million people in the U.S. are very interested in men’s (ATP) and/or women’s (WTA) professional tennis. In terms of event attendance, about 750 thousand people attended a pro tennis event in the U.S. in 2016. That same year, the U.S. Open, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments and the most important tennis tournament in the country, was watched by 25 million people on TV in the U.S.
One of the most successful professional tennis players of all time is Roger Federer. The Swiss-born player is the world’s highest-paid tennis player, as he made about 60 million U.S. dollars from endorsement deals and earned nearly eight million U.S. dollars in prize money between June 2015 and June 2016. Serbian athlete Novak Djokovic ranked second in income among tennis players, receiving nearly 56 million U.S. dollars during the same time frame. Djokovic is also the leading player in regards to career earnings, with more than 100 million U.S. dollars in career prize money. Serena Williams is the best-paid female tennis player and the fifth best-paid overall.
The Grand Slam tournaments – Australian Open, French Open (also known as Roland Garros), Wimbledon and US Open – are the four most important and prestigious annual tennis events for both men and women. The Australian Open is the first major of the year, taking place in mid-January, followed by the French Open in May/June. Wimbledon, the only of the four majors to be played on grass, takes place in June/July, and the Grand Slam seasons finishes with the US Open played in August/September. Roger Federer is the male tennis player with the most Grand Slam titles, 18 as of January 2017, whereas Serena Williams leads all female players with 23 Grand Slam tournament titles.
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