Tennis is in the midst of an incredible boom period in Australia, if the 2022 Google search trends are anything to go by.
The racquet sport and its athletes dominate the lists of most searched subjects in the country this year.
Data released on Wednesday morning shows tennis dwarfs all other sports in terms of interest and popularity.
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On the list of Australian people most searched in their own country, Ash Barty and Nick Kyrgios top the chart. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, incredibly, sits behind them in third.
Rounding out the top five are more tennis players – Thanasi Kokkinakis and Dylan Alcott, who both won Australian Open titles in January.
Alex de Minaur also sits eighth on the list, behind high-profile names Brittany Higgins, Grace Tame, and John Farnham, while federal opposition leader Peter Dutton is 10th.
On the list of most searched sporting events, the Australian Open is No.1, with two other tennis tournaments also sitting in the top 10.
“I’m not surprised, first of all with Ash Barty – she’s brought so much visibility to Australian tennis especially, not just this year, but I think over the last couple of years as well,” Aussie tennis great Jelena Dokic told Wide World of Sports when informed of the Google data.
“Australians love their sport and they love to support athletes, so I’m not surprised that her and Nick, and a couple of others as well, are in that kind of group.
“And it’s so good to have the Australian Open as the No.1 event. As someone who lives in Melbourne, there is nothing that the city quite comes alive for… when the Australian Open comes around it is something so special.
“Because it’s such a global event – there is only four grand slams a year – to have one in our city is so incredible an something we should be proud of. It is one of the best events in the world from an organisational point of view and everything else.”
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Australian tennis enjoyed a golden era of sorts in the early and mid-2000s when Dokic toured alongside the likes of Kim Clijsters, Lleyton Hewitt, Mark Philippoussis, and Pat Rafter.
But a new wave of superstars are replicating that on the world stage now.
Barty won three grand slam titles before announcing a shock retirement earlier this year, while Kyrgios made his first major singles final at Wimbledon in July, losing to Novak Djokovic.
Alcott also called time on his stellar career following the Australian Open, while Kokkinakis won the doubles title alongside Kyrgios.
Dokic also credits the year-round coverage by Nine and Stan Sport for tennis being Australia’s No.1 interest.
“I think what Nine has done, it really is the home of tennis, and to have all the grand slams and the Davis Cup, the Billie Jean King Cup and all the lead-up events, there is so much coverage across different channels, and people recognise that you can watch so much tennis,” she said.
“What Nine has done to give that much opportunity to the sport, we’ve never had that, they have done something that we never had in that covering the sport across the whole year.
“To be able to talk tennis – not just for the Australian Open, but all year round – I think that’s why we are at the top.”
Most searched Australians
1. Ash Barty
2. Nick Kyrgios
3. Anthony Albanese
4. Thanasi Kokkinakis
5. Dylan Alcott
6. Brittany Higgins
7. Grace Tame
8. John Farnham
9. Alex de Minaur
10. Peter Dutton
Most searched non-Australians
1. Novak Djokovic
2. Rafael Nadal
3. Daniil Medvedev
4. Amber Heard
5. Johnny Depp
6. Will Smith
7. Andrew Tate
8. Anna Delvey
9. King Charles
10. Danielle Collins
Most searched sporting events
1. Australian Open (tennis)
2. FIFA World Cup
3. The Ashes
4. Winter Olympics
5. Rugby League World Cup
6. Indian Wells (tennis)
7. Commonwealth Games
8. ATP Cup (tennis)
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