Federer highest earning tennis star, but Nadal tops prize money list for 2018

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With greatest tennis spectacles on earth such as US Open Grand Slam splurging the highest ever total prize money of $53 million this year, the global icons of the sport are fast closing the gap among the world’s highest paid athletes.

Forbes’s list of World’s Top 100 Highest Paid Athletes 2018 has four from tennis players. The numbers are increasing year by year, thanks to increase in tournament prize money and ever-lucrative brand endorsement deals signed by tennis icons.

Roger Federer with $77.2 million total annual earnings is undoubtedly the world’s highest paid tennis player. The 37-year-old Swiss legend, who won his 20th Grand Slam title at Australian Open this years, is tennis world’s biggest brand icon, whose annual worth in prize money is reported at $ 65 million. He earned another $12.2 million in prize money.

Federer has signed one of the world’s most expensive endorsement deal with Uniqlo, replacing Nike with Japanese fashion retail brand as its kit partner. The ten year agreement is worth $300 million and Federer’s annual $ 30 million paycheck from the Japanese brand is thrice the size of the Nike deal.

Rafael Nadal sits at the second spot with $41.4 million annual earnings. The 32-year-old Spaniard tops the prize money chart with $14.4 million. Having won his 17th Grand Slam title at Roland Garros this year, Nadal currently sits atop the world tennis rankings, returning to the No. 1 sport 12 months ago for the first time in more than three years.

In spite of great show on the court, Nadal doesn’t just trail Federer in the endorsement market. Even Japanese tennis icon Kei Nishikori betters him in endorsement deals aggregate.

Rising among the ranks, Nishikori is at the third spot ahead of Novak Djokovic with total annual earnings at $34.6 million. The 28-year-old’s earnings from endorsements stand at $33 million, $6 million more than Nadal, thanks to an impressive brand portfolio that includes Asahi, NTT, Japan Airlines, Lixil and Nissin, Uniqlo, Wilson, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Jaguar and Tag Heuer.

Djokivic, who leads in the all-time career prize money earnings, is at fourth spot with $23 million annual earnings. Djokovic’s July Wimbledon win was his first Grand Slam title in more than two years. Djokovic swapped Uniqlo for Lacoste as his apparel brand last year in a five-year deal. The 31-year-old Serbian’s 13 Grand Slam titles are among the top four in the history of the game.

Serena Williams is the world’s highest paid female athlete, world’s highest paid female tennis sensation and fifth among the highest paid tennis stars in the combined list with $18.1 million earnings, out of which a mere $62,000 is attributed to prize money.

Also Read: PV Sindhu is 7th among top 10 highest paid female athletes, Serena Williams tops the chart

Serena’s prize money took an obvious plunge resulting from 14-month inaction to have her first child Alexis Olympia. With sponsors ranging from Nike, Intel, Audemars Piguet, JPMorgan Chase, Lincoln, Gatorade and Beats, only 16 athletes in the world made more than Serena over the past 12 months from endorsements.

Also Read: Forbes’ Highest Paid Celebrities: Mayweather tops chart, but Kohli not in list

Here is the list of world’s highest earnings tennis stars:

  1. Roger Federer

Total earnings: $77.2 million

Prize money: $12.2 million

Endorsements: $65 million

  1. Rafael Nadal

Total earnings: $41.4 million

Prize money: $14.4 million

Endorsements: $27 million

  1. Kei Nishikori

Total earnings: $34.6 million

Prize money: $1.6 million

Endorsements: $33 million

  1. Novak Djokovic

Total earnings: $23.5 million

Prize money: $1.5 million

Endorsements: $22 million

  1. Serena Williams

Total earnings: $18.1 million

Prize money: $62,000

Endorsements: $18 million

  1. Caroline Wozniacki

Total earnings: $13 million

Prize money: $7 million

Endorsements: $6 million

  1. Grigor Dimitrov

Total earnings: $12.7 million

Prize money: $6.7 million

Endorsements: $6 million

  1. Andy Murray

Total earnings: $11.5 million

Prize money: $1 million

Endorsements: $10.5 million

  1. Sloane Stephens

Total earnings: $11.2 million

Prize money: $5.7 million

Endorsements: $5.5 million

  1. Garbine Muguruza

Total earnings: $11 million

Prize money: $5.5 million

Endorsements: $5.5 million


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