Top ten tennis countries in the world in 2013

Which are the top ten tennis countries in the world in 2013? The answer depends on the definition of “top tennis country”. Is it the country with the most tennis players? Is it the country with the most professional players? Is it the country with the most champions?

I rated “tennis countries” according to two sets of criteria:

  1. The country with the most professional tennis players in the top 100
  2. #1 above, normalized by country population

A tale of two maps

I mapped the data separately for both criteria — #1 (total number of players in the top 100) and #2 (players in the top 100 per million residents). You can see that the two maps (below) look starkly different.

The tabular data below each map shows that Spain ranks #1 by total number of players, while Slovakia ranks tops by players per population. So, which is the top tennis country in the world? You be the judge.

Top ten tennis countries ranked by number of players in the top 100
Top ten tennis countries ranked by number of players in the top 100

 

Top ten tennis countries ranked by number of players in the top 100 normalized by population
Top ten tennis countries ranked by number of players in the top 100 normalized by population

 

See also maps for the top 100 ATP (men) and WTA (women) professional tennis players for 2013, and a similar set of maps for 2012.

6 comments

  1. yeah normalising is indeed crucial, I did that w Olympic medal counts, and US or China don’t look so great agaisnt population, and I also added GDP

    • Thanks for the comment. Yes, normalizing paints a whole different picture.

      I had seen the maps on your blog before, but they don’t show up today. Might there be a technical problem?

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  3. chris

    I am puzzled not to see Switzerland rank pretty high according to your second criteria (# of players in top 100/million resident). It should about 0.25-0.3 I would say.

    • You are, of course, correct. Thank you for discovering and pointing out a flaw in my methodology. I mistakenly (and misleadingly) created the top-player-by-population map from the subset of total number of players by country. This left out countries like Switzerland which did not have enough top players to make it to the top-ten-total, but should rank highly in the top-player-by-population category. Its index of 0.502847373251033 puts it (tentatively) in fourth place. I will publish a corrected map shortly. Thanks again!

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