Rachel Stuhlmann Reacts To Her World's No. 1 Tennis Influencer Ranking As Named By OutKick

Five days ago, as Wimbledon was all over my ESPN+ app, I was sitting at my computer when Rachel Stuhlmann popped up on my Instagram feed via some algorithm suggestion and she was up against a tennis practice wall holding tennis balls.

Because I'm a content guy constantly looking for sports angles from the Instagram world, alarm bells immediately went off in my head -- Rachel could be a tennis influencer! Like a stock trader doing his due diligence before throwing money into the crypto market, I went into full investigation mode and it took me all of about 30 seconds to determine that we're officially looking at the Paige Spiranac of the tennis world.

Then I made the official call: Rachel Stuhlmann is officially the world's No. 1 tennis influencer. Right there on the spot I came up with the world rankings and here we are five days later with Rachel, who played the sport at the University of Missouri, still trying to digest this huge news that has rocked the tennis influencer world.

"World No. 1 in tennis (influencer)🎾🤩 WOW, what an honor! Since my playing career, all I’ve wanted to do was make the sport more mainstream and relatable, and cool like the other sports! So this definitely means a lot.😍," Rachel wrote Tuesday on Instagram.

"For the past few years, I’ve done everything in professional tennis from media, broadcasting, writing, tournament partnerships and sponsorships, marketing, sales, events, player relations & comms, and much more- all with the goal to enhance the game and bring positive attention and coverage to the sport. I always believed that all of the beautiful tournaments around the world and the fun personalities of the players need to be highlighted more.

"I’m excited to do my best and keep bringing positive attention to the sport that I love so much and keep pushing the game forward!🎾🤩😍," she added.

In 2020, Serena Williams' coach Patrick Mouratoglou claimed that the average age of a tennis fan was 61 and worried that a decade later it would be an average of 71. "The world has evolved in the last 10-20 years but tennis has never changed. Tennis is in trouble, I want tennis to survive," Mouratoglou said at the time.

Meanwhile, the world of golf Instagram influencers was exploding thanks to the work of Spiranac who was at war with the LPGA's cleavage police who didn't appreciate her low-cut tops and other attire she was wearing.

Paige turned that war into her place as a golf Instagram influencer and has since become the world's No. 1 ranked golf influencer.

Tennis, as Mouratoglou opined, was over in the corner twiddling its thumbs.

Now it's time for Stuhlmann and tennis to change the narrative.

According to statistics from the United States Tennis Association, participation was up by one million players in 2021 compared to 2020 and racquet sales jumped 46.2% (122.9 million) in 2021. 3.4 million wholesale racquet units were moved in 2021 which was the largest unit number since 2010.

Moving tennis racquets is great, but it's going to take more than that to raise the profile of a sport that hasn't seen a U.S. male Grand Slam champion since Andy Roddick won the 2003 U.S. Open.

Stuhlmann is a very important piece to the rise of tennis in the U.S.

It's also going to take some college stars. It's going to take some Instagram content battles. It's going to take Stuhlmann teaming up with stars in pro-ams. The USTA and the brands inside the sport need to get creative.

Bring Stuhlmann and her world's No. 1 tennis influencer ranking into the fold.

Change the narrative with this sport. Make it cool.

Stuhlmann's ready. Now it's up to the sport whether it wants to change itself inside the United States.


Written by
Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America. Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league. Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.