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Tennis Australia’s most popular sport

December 20, 2007

Complete posting quoted from the Herald-Sun 19/12/2007
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22946583-662,00.html

In a surprise result, tennis (62 per cent) pipped swimming (61 per cent), with Aussie Rules third (57 per cent), in a survey of Aussies’ favourite sports.

The Sweeney Sports Report, the nation’s most authoritative sports and sponsorship survey, ranked cricket fourth (51 per cent), while soccer slumped to 49 per cent as last year’s World Cup euphoria continued to fade.

Sweeney Sports general manager Todd Deacon admitted he was shocked tennis was the sport of choice.

“There could be a number of reasons for it, from the (Roger) Federer-(Rafael) Nadal phenomenon to the fact Lleyton Hewitt and Bec Cartwright are on every magazine cover,” Mr Deacon said.

“It’s also one of the few sports in the top 10 which is actually more popular with females than males.”

Golf (30 per cent) ranked ninth, perhaps an accurate reflection given the final day of the Australian Open on Sunday was bowled over by a washed-out game of cricket.

The Australia-New Zealand one-day match, which lasted just six overs at the SCG, rated higher than the golf for a staggering three hours.

As the rain tumbled down, the Australian Open reached its pulsating finish with Craig Parry pipping Nick O’Hern and Brand Snedeker to win the championship.

The Sweeney survey calculates interest by combining data about how many Australians in capital cities participate in, attend, watch on television, listen to radio, read print media reports and use the internet for information about each sport.

TV viewing of tennis became the highest for any sport, with almost six of every 10 people tuning in.

In other results, Melbourne clearly reigns as Australia’s sporting capital, hosting the country’s three most important sporting events.

The AFL Grand Final stretched its lead slightly as the sporting event considered by Australians to be the most important.

It now leads the Melbourne Cup by eight percentage points (27 to 19 per cent), with the Australian Open tennis championships third on 11 per cent.

The latest edition of the Sweeney Sports Report covered 22 major sports played or covered by the media from April to September.

Interviewing was completed just before the AFL and NRL grand finals.

Computer-assisted telephone interviews were conducted with 1000 Australians in the six state capital cities and Canberra.

In analysis, the results were weighted by age and sex within each city so the overall findings were fully representative of the populations.

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