Probably true about having the time to think about tactics. The key for me though is that I play it so I understand the tactic more than I understand other sports. Like my favorite sports is ice hockey but I don't play it, so I don't know enough to appreciate the strategies as much as I do for tennis. And ice hockey plays in such fast pace too, yes, it's harder to follow the play as closely as I'm able to in tennis.
I have not played enough tennis to really take tactical lessons from my practise, but I think I've watched it enough to understand a part of what players feel when they have to face some shots, and what makes them tough.
Don't like any of the 4 sports you gave in examples though. But then, I have not probably watch an American Football game or cricket to understand what's going on there. And all these has nothing to do with my reason for liking tennis of course.
I've hardly watched them either, but from what I watched, American football and cricket looked boring because there was a lot of time just preparing for the next action, it was hard to understand why so many people loved watching them
that's why I suggested that it can be part of the pleasure of tennis on spectators to have time to think about those things and prepare for next action. But of course one needs to understand the sport for that
Anyway, that time is also used to watch players carefully and kind of living "intimately" with them, and that's for sure a big part of the interest and also of the identification, Tignor already wrote about it.