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Sports Industry: A Research Guide


[Alice Marble playing tennis at Forest Hills; composite of eight photographs illustrating her serve and backhand]. 1937. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Like most sports, tennis has both a professional and an amateur component. In tennis, professional players are identified as those that are seeded and most likely to be covered on sports broadcasts and mentioned in the sports sections of newspapers, whereas amateurs are those who play for fun and recreation on private and public courts.

Ticket sales, event attendance, sponsorship, and prize money are the more important numbers to track when studying the business aspects of professional tennis while participation, equipment and apparel sales, along with dues for clubs and fees, are the numbers used for tracking the amateur business.

On the professional level most of the business focus is on the many professional tennis events - attendance, media rights, etc. While the most well known events are the Grand Slam (the Australian Open, Wimbledon, French Open, and the U.S. Open), there are also a host of other events that offer prize money including the men's Davis Cup. Revenue comes from media rights, gate revenue, attendance figures, and sales revenue for all of the Grand Slam events.


The media rights play a large part in the revenue though they don't play as large a role as they do in other sports such as golf. The sport does have its own cable channel although it was only launched in 2001 so numbers aren't as high as they are for the older and more established Golf Channel. The past few years have seen women's tennis generate higher ratings than men's tennis. Media rights are the highest for the Grand Slam events, but many other events are not even televised.

Men's Tennis

The Association of Tennis Professionals runs the men's tour. It consists of the Grand Slam events, nine Masters series and the International Series Gold and the International Series. Events other than the Grand Slam events include: the Davis Cup, Tennis Masters Series events like Miami Ericsson Open, and International Series events like the Dutch Open and Mercedes-Benz Cup.

Women's Tennis

The Women's Tennis Association is the organization in charge of the women's tour. The tour includes the four Grand Slam events, as well as nine other Tier I events and numerous other Tier 2-5 events. Events other than the Grand Slam events include: The Fed Cup, the Tier I events like the Miami Ericsson Open, and the Tier II events like Adidas International and the Los Angeles Open. Attendance at women's events has been outpacing attendance at men's events while prize money for women's events is still considerably less though steadily growing.

Books & Periodicals

These are just a few of the more business-themed resources related to tennis. Note that there may also be relevant information in the General Resources section of this guide.

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digital content are provided when available.

Internet Resources

We have included some resources that are not business specific in an effort to provide sources that can help researchers understand the sport itself and its structure.


General Resources

Official Sites


Search the Library's Catalog

If you are looking to search the catalog for more general titles see the Search the Library's Catalog page. Additional works on the tennis business in the Library of Congress may be identified by searching the Online Catalog under appropriate Library of Congress subject headings. Choose the topics you wish to search from the following list of Library of Congress subject headings to link directly to the Catalog and automatically execute a search that will allow you to browse related subject headings. Please be aware that during periods of heavy use you may encounter delays in accessing the catalog. For assistance in locating the many other subject headings which relate to tennis as a business, please consult a reference librarian.