It makes sense that the richest tennis player in the world is also the winningest male tennis player in tennis history. With 20 Grand Slam titles, Federer has definitely won his fair share of prize money. On top of that money, Federer is highly sought after for endorsements. In 2020, Federer accumulated $100 million in endorsements, on top of $6 million in prize winnings, as well as another $106.3 million in commissions. Federer's endorsements include the fashion brand Uniqlo, Mercedes Benz and more. All of this was enough to secure Federer the top spot on Forbes richest athlete list in 2020, the first time a tennis player took that spot.
Novak Djokovic has often been in the shadow of Roger Federer, so of course he is right behind him on this list as well. The Serbian tennis player has won a total of seventeen grand slams titles. While his competition, Federer and Rafael Nadal are dominant on grass and clay respectively, Djokovic is versatile, picking up wins on all different courts, but especially at the Australian open. Djokovic's winnings are huge: $12.6 million in 2020 and his endorsements only further amplify his wealth. All of this helped land Djokovic at number 23 of the highest paid athletes of 2020, the second tennis player on the list after Roger Federer.
There is no bigger name in tennis than Serena Williams. Williams is the second winningest tennis player of all time, and perhaps the most dominant athlete in the history of sports. For good reason, Williams is paid as such. Williams is the highest earning female tennis player of all time. Aside from the huge prize money that has come as a result of winning 23 grand slam titles, and countless other tournaments, Williams has quite a few endorsement deals. In 2020 Williams made $32 million in endorsements despite only making $4 million in earnings due to having a relatively quiet year. Williams has been a star for two decades, earning her place among the wealthiest tennis players.
If you've watched tennis even for just a little bit in the past decade you would know there's a big three in men's tennis. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are the first two, taking their spots at the top of the wealthiest player list. The third is Rafael (Rafa) Nadal. Arguably the best left-handed tennis player ever, Nadal is a long time champion, especially on the clay courts at the French Open. For his winning, Nadal has raked in over $100 million in prize money throughout his career. On top of his winnings, Nadal makes lots of money through endorsements, especially in his native Spain. In 2020 Nadal made $26 million on endorsements, enough to make him the 27th highest paid athlete in the world.
At only 22 years old, Naomi Osaka is by far the youngest tennis player on this list. Osaka burst on to the tennis scene a few years ago and made herself known by beating Serena Williams on her home turf at the US Open. Osaka's rise to success, paired with her marketability, quickly earned her quite a bit of money. In 2020, Osaka took William's spot as the highest earning female athlete in the world. With sponsorships quickly coming in from Nike, Mastercard and other big companies, Osaka brought in over $34 million in endorsements in 2020. It would be no surprise to see Naomi Osaka climb the list of richest tennis players in years to come, as most of her career is still ahead of her.
Based purely on money, Ion Tiriac is the richest person on this list. Tiriac has a net worth over a billion dollars putting him well over a half a billion dollars above anyone else on the list. The only reason he finds himself at the number six spot on the list is because an insignificant amount of his money was actually earned while playing tennis. Tiriac retired from tennis in the 1970s after having a brief career playing some singles though mostly doubles throughout his career. The way he made his money came after his retirement, where he founded Banca Tiriac in 1990. That led to Tiriac owning his own investment group, Tiriac Group, which did everything from managing athletes to dealing in real estate. Ion Tiriac is less of a rich tennis player, and more of a tennis player who later got rich.
He might not be well known outside of the tennis community but Kei Nishikori has earned his place as one of the wealthiest players in the game today. In 2020 Nishikori ranked as the fortieth most valuable athlete in the world. He made just over a million dollars in prize money. Most of his money was made through endorsements. Nishikori raked in about $30 million in endorsements from companies such as Jaguar, Asahi, and other mainly Japanese companies. Nishikori is one of the faces of the Tokyo Olympics, only boosting his marketability.
The second retired player on this list, Pete Sampras was a champion in his time, earning every dollar that he made. Throughout his career Sampras made over 40 million just in winnings. Sampras' career lasted fourteen years, winning fourteen Grand Slams, ending with a US Open championship, where he was immensely popular. Sampras continued to earn outside of just his winnings, earning up to $100 million in sponsorships both during his playing career and afterwards as a personality in tennis. Sampras has remained in the public eye since 2002 helping him to continue bringing in money.
Often in the shadows of Serena Williams, as almost all female tennis players have been for the last 20 years, Maria Sharapova still managed to be a popular and successful tennis player in her own right. Recently, Sharapova got in trouble for using Meldonium, a banned substance, even though she was using it for a heart problem. Before that, Sharapova often found herself deep into tournaments, earning herself a good amount of prize money. Even more, Sharapova was widely considered a marketable personality, racking up plenty of endorsement including Evian water and Nike. This amounted to a net worth of over $125 million.
Andy Murray is without a doubt the best tennis player to come out of Great Britain, a country that loves both the sport and Murray himself. Murray became even more popular when he won Gold at the 2012 London Olympics. Murray is outside of the popularity and wealth of guys like Federer, Djokovic, and Nadal but has in the past been in competition with those big name tennis players. Murray has accumulated over $100 million in net worth from his winnings and various sponsorships. Those sponsorships include Jaguar, Head, and Under Armour, all big brands that have paid handsomely for Murray's time.
The richest tennis player worldwide is Roger Federer with over $100 million earned in 2020 alone. Federer is probably the biggest name in tennis, making him tons of prize money as well as even more on endorsements. Federer has endorsements from Uniqlo, Rolex, Mercedes-Benz, Wilson and many more. The Swiss player also has won the most grand slams out of any male player in tennis. All that has accumulated to make Federer the richest tennis player in the world today.
Tennis players make their money from a variety of places. The most obvious might be prize money. Every tournament has money laid out depending on what position you finish in throughout the tournament. The winner obviously gets the biggest check but other players get paid too. The second common spot is endorsements. Players will be paid to only wear one type of shoe or to use one brand's racket. This obviously depends on player popularity and varies wildly.
Roger Federer was the highest paid male tennis player as of 2020, and Naomi Osaka was the highest paid female player. Both of them made it onto Forbes' top fifty of richest athletes of the year. In fact, Federer found himself at the number one spot of highest paid athletes of the year; this was the first time a tennis athlete has taken that spot in a few years. Osaka also was the top spot for female athletes, taking that from fellow tennis player Serena Williams.