Sh22.9 billion: Federer tops players with bulging muscles and bank accounts
Tennis stars in action: From left – Rafel Nadal, Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic [COURTESY]

Rafael Nadal recently confirmed his supremacy as the King of Clay by winning his 13th title at Roland Garros at the delayed French Open. This brought him level on men’s Grand Slam championships with Roger Federer with 20 apiece.

Novak Djokovic, who has had a turbulent year on and off the court, remains the world ranked number one men’s player by a distance. However, in terms of earnings for last year, both Djokovic and Nadal are dwarfed by Roger Federer.

Federer not only tops the tennis money list, but is also the world’s highest paid sportsman. In the past year, up until June 2020, Federer earned more than footballers Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar, and legendary basketball superstar LeBron James. 

Federer $106 million (Sh11.5 billion) amassed more in annual pre-tax earnings than Cristiano Ronaldo $105 million (Sh11.4b), Lionel Messi $104 million (Sh11.3b), Neymar $95.5 million (Sh10.3b), and LeBron James $88.2 million (Sh9.5b).

This year has also seen the emergence of a new star in the women’s game. Naomi Osaka won her maiden Grand Slam title back in 2018 against Serena Williams. She added to this by winning the Australian Open in 2019 and then winning the US Open again in 2020.

This increased profile and success at the age of just 23 has seen her become earmarked as the next big thing in women’s tennis.

Therefore, she has this year pipped the great Serena Williams to become the highest paid female player in terms of income from tournaments and endorsements.

Forbes, in conjunction with Statista, compiled earnings from both tournament wins and advertising endorsements from June 2019 to June 2020.

Simona Halep: $10.9 million (Sh1.1b)

Tournament wins: $6.9 million (750m)

Advertising contracts: $4 million (Sh434m)

Sh22.9 billion: Federer tops players with bulging muscles and bank accounts
Sunday, March 10, 2019 – Simona Halep plays Kateryna Kozlova in the 3rd round of the BNP Paribas Open in Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Michael Cummo/BNP Paribas Open)

The former world number 1 missed out on Grand Slam success this year after winning Wimbledon last year. Her most recent title was the Italian Open back in September.

Dominic Thiem: $11.1 million (Sh1.2b)

Tournament wins: $7.1 million (Sh772m)

Advertising contracts: $4 million (434m)

Sh22.9 billion: Federer tops players with bulging muscles and bank accounts
ATP 500 – Rio Open – Jockey Club Brasileiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – February 22, 2020 Austria’s Dominic Thiem looks dejected after the match against Italy’s Gianluca Mager [REUTERS/Sergio Moraes]

Thiem finally broke his Grand Slam duck this year after reaching three finals previously. He beat Alexander Zverev at the US Open after coming back from two sets down. He also became the first player outside of the ‘Big 3’ of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic to win a Grand Slam since 2016.

Daniil Medvedev: $11.8 million (Sh1.2b)

Tournament wins: $7.3 million (Sh793m)

Advertising contracts: $4.5 million (Sh489m)

Sh22.9 billion: Federer tops players with bulging muscles and bank accounts
Daniil Medvedev of Russia wipes his face while playing Rafael Nadal of Spain during the men’s Singles Finals match at the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 8, 2019. (Photo by Don Emmert / AFP)

Medvedev reached his maiden Grand Slam final last year at the US Open. He was defeated by Nadal in five sets. He also reached the semi finals at this year’s tournament.

Ashleigh Barty: $11.1 million  (Sh1.2b)

Tournament wins: $10.1 million (Sh1b)

Advertising contracts: $3 million (Sh326m)

Sh22.9 billion: Federer tops players with bulging muscles and bank accounts
World number one Ashleigh Barty Australia in past action. [Reuters]

Barty’s maiden Grand Slam victory came at the French Open last summer. A little-known fact is that she took a hiatus from tennis earlier in her career to play semi-professional cricket in Australia between 2014-2016 before coming back to play tennis.

Kei Nishikori: $32.1 million (Sh3.4b)

Tournament wins: $1.1 million (Sh119m)

Advertising contracts: $31 million (Sh3.3b)

Sh22.9 billion: Federer tops players with bulging muscles and bank accounts
Japan’s Kei Nishikori eyes the ball as he plays a forehand return to France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert during their tennis match on the day 5 of the Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series tournament on April 17, 2019 in Monaco. (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP)

Nishikori is the first and only Japanese male player to reach the top five of the rankings in their history. He reached a career high of fourth in 2015. He reached his only Grand Slam final to date back in 2014. Thus, his profile has sustained a lucrative career through endorsements.

Serena Williams: $36 million (Sh3.9b)

Tournament wins: $4 million (Sh434m)

Advertising contracts: $32 million (Sh3.4b)

Sh22.9 billion: Federer tops players with bulging muscles and bank accounts
Serena Williams, of the United States, reacts during a match against Tsvetana Pironkova, of Bulgaria, during the quarterfinals of the US Open tennis championships, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Arguably the greatest women’s player of all time and most definitely the most successful woman of the modern era. She is still searching for her 24th title which would draw her level with Margaret Court for most Grand Slam titles.

Naomi Osaka: $37.4 million (Sh4b)

Tournament wins: $3.4 million (Sh369m)

Advertising contracts: $34 million (Sh3.6b)

Sh22.9 billion: Federer tops players with bulging muscles and bank accounts
Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates a point during her Women’s Singles third round match against Marta Kostyuk of the Ukraine on Day Five of the 2020 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 04, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City.[ Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP]

Osaka has risen to prominence over the past couple of years and recently won her third Grand Slam at last month’s US Open. Her earnings have vastly increased, both on and off, during this time.

Rafael Nadal: $40 million (Sh4.3b)

Tournament wins: $7.1 million (Sh772m)

Advertising contracts: $4 million (Sh434m)

Sh22.9 billion: Federer tops players with bulging muscles and bank accounts
ATP 500 – Mexican Open – Princess Acapulco Stadium, Acapulco, Mexico – February 28, 2020 Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his semifinal match against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov [REUTERS/Henry Romero]

Nadal joined Federer on 20 Grand Slam titles after his win at the French Open last Sunday. Amazingly, the Spaniard has won over 100 times at Roland Garros, only losing twice in his whole career.

Novak Djokovic: $44.6 million (Sh4.8b)

Tournament wins: $7.1 million (Sh772m)

Advertising contracts: $4 million (Sh434m)

Sh22.9 billion: Federer tops players with bulging muscles and bank accounts
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis during their men’s singles second round tennis match on Day 5 of The Roland Garros 2020 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on October 1, 2020. (Photo by MARTIN BUREAU / AFP)

Despite making the headlines for all the wrong reasons this year after hitting the ball at a line judge and throwing a party in the middle of a pandemic, Djokovic is still number one men’s player in the world. He won the Australian Open back in January and was a beaten finalist at the French Open.

Roger Federer: $106.3 million (Sh11.5b)

Tournament wins: $6.3 million (Sh695m)

Advertising contracts: $100 million (Sh10.8b)

Despite an injury hit year, he still reached the Australian Open semi finals back in January. His earning potential still far outstrips any player on the tour and globally he is the best paid sportsperson on the planet. The Fed Express still rolls on to this day.

The great disparity that is highlighted in this list is the difference between Serena Williams and Roger Federer – two absolute giants of the game.

Despite both having illustrious careers and Serena even having won more Grand Slam titles than her male counterpart, their earning potential is still quite radically different.

Tennis has made good strides in normalising equal pay. For Grand Slam tournaments, prize money has been equal now for several years. However, in terms of endorsements, Federer’s earnings outstrip Serena’s by three to one.

Clearly the quest for equality in this regard still has some way to travel yet.

 

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here