Serving Up Success: The Rise of Tennis in Southeast Asia

Hello Everyone!

After spending 4 years based in Singapore and travelling around Asia. I thought I would share my experience of tennis in Asia and more specifically, South East Asia.


Tennis, a sport often associated with Western countries and their grand slam tournaments, has been steadily making its mark in Southeast Asia. The region, known for its rich cultural diversity and vibrant landscapes, is also fostering a thriving tennis community.

From young talents emerging on the international stage to the development of state-of-the-art tennis facilities, Southeast Asia is quickly becoming a tennis hub. In this article, we explore the reasons behind the sport’s growth in this part of the world and highlight some of the key players and initiatives contributing to its popularity.

Youthful Enthusiasm and Grassroots Initiatives

One of the main driving forces behind the rise of tennis in Southeast Asia is the enthusiasm of young players. Countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines have seen a surge in junior tennis participation.

The passion of these young athletes, combined with the guidance of dedicated coaches and mentorship programs, has led to an impressive crop of talented tennis players. This is evident in the numerous Southeast Asian players making their mark on the international tennis circuit. Such as, Hyeon Chung of South Korea and Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan.

Investment in World-Class Facilities

The growth of tennis in Southeast Asia is also closely linked to the region’s investment in top-notch tennis facilities. Many countries have been keen to develop world-class tennis venues that can host international tournaments, thus providing a platform for local talents to compete against the world’s best.

The Phillipines’ Rizal Memorial Tennis Center and the Singapore Tennis Hub are prime examples of such state-of-the-art facilities that have raised the region’s tennis profile.

International Events and Exposure

The staging of international tennis events has played a pivotal role in boosting the sport’s popularity in Southeast Asia. The ATP and WTA Tours have increasingly included tournaments in the region, attracting tennis enthusiasts and generating excitement among local fans.

The prestigious WTA Finals, held in Singapore from 2014 to 2018. This showcased the world’s top women’s players and brought tennis closer to the hearts of Southeast Asian sports fans.

After the Covid lockdowns, we can view on the ITF calendar website numerous events being held in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. Beyond South-East Asia, tennis is also booming more than ever in China, with multiple events held this year.

Grassroots Development and Tennis Academies

Tennis academies and development programs are springing up throughout the region, nurturing promising talents and providing a clear path for aspiring young players. These academies offer professional coaching, state-of-the-art training facilities, and international exposure to junior players.

A couple examples of International Academies trying to break through in South-East Asia to test the waters and create some brand recognition are:
Rafa Nadal Academy presented their programs in Thailand (International British School of Phuket) back in early 2022.
Mouratoglou Tennis Programme at Epsom International College Malaysia.

Cultural Integration and Regional Diversity

Southeast Asia’s unique cultural diversity has also played a role in the growth of tennis. The sport’s universal appeal transcends language and cultural barriers, making it accessible to a wide range of people in the region. This inclusiveness encourages greater participation and fan engagement, contributing to the sport’s growing popularity.


The rise of tennis in Southeast Asia is a testament to the region’s commitment to nurturing local talent, investing in world-class facilities, and creating opportunities for international exposure. As the region continues to produce talented players and host prestigious tennis events, Southeast Asia is well on its way to establishing itself as a significant player in the global tennis community.

With the unwavering enthusiasm of young players, the continued investment in the sport’s infrastructure, and the region’s rich cultural diversity, the future of tennis in Southeast Asia is indeed promising.

Read up next on the “Best Tennis Facilities in Southeast Asia”