Forbes has declared the list of the world's top 100 highest-paid athletes, with Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer occupying the No. 1 position. Federer is the first tennis player ever to reach the summit of the annual list, but his biggest rivals - Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic - failed to make it to the top 20.
Roger Federer accumulated earnings of $106.3 million, whereas Novak Djokovic is at the 23rd position with $44.6 million. Rafael Nadal, meanwhile stands at No. 27 after earning $40 million in the last 12 months.
Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori is the only other male tennis star to feature in the top 100. And Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams are the only female tennis players present, finding themselves at No. 29 and No. 33 respectively.
Breakdown of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal's earnings
Interestingly, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have each won more prize money than Roger Federer in the last 12 months. However, the World No. 4 is way ahead of them in terms of brand endorsements.
Federer made only $6.3 million through his achievements on the tennis court, whereas he earned $100 million from his activities off it.
As for Novak Djokovic, the Serb made $12.6 million in prize money while his brand endorsement deals fetched him $32 million. The World No. 1 has lucrative deals with Asics, Head, Lacoste, NetJets, Peugeot, Seiko Watch Corporation and Ultimate Software Group.
French automotive manufacturer Peugeot signed a contract with Novak Djokovic earlier this year, while the Serb's deal with French clothing company Lacoste is worth an eight-figure sum annually.
Spanish tennis legend Rafael Nadal earned more prize money than Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the concerned period. However, his relatively smaller endorsement earnings allowed his rivals to take the higher spots.
Out of Nadal's total earnings of $40 million, the 19-time Grand Slam champion made $14 million through his excellent performances on the court.
Rafael Nadal opened his tennis academy in Manacor four years ago, and he also makes around $1 million from appearing in each smaller tournament. The long list of Nadal's sponsors includes Babolat, KIA Motors, Nike, Richard Mille, Santander and Telefónica.
Kei Nishikori, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka in top 40 of Forbes list
Although he has fallen to No. 31 in the ATP rankings, Japanese star Kei Nishikori is the 40th highest-paid athlete of the year. Nishikori earned just $1 million in prize money. However, the 2014 US Open runner-up's brand endorsement deals with Asahi Group Holdings, Jaccs, Jaguar, Japan Airlines, Nike, Nippon Telegraph & Tel, Nissin Foods Holdings, Uber, and Uniqlo earned him a cool $31 million.
A majority of Nishikori's sponsors are official Olympics partners. The organizers had picked him as one of the Tokyo Olympics' faces before they postponed the Games.
Naomi Osaka is the highest-paid female athlete with earnings of $37.4 million, while Serena Williams' revenues of $36 million helped her attain the 33rd position.
As compared to 2019, the number of tennis players in the top 100 highest-paid athletes has increased from 5 to 6. However, the total earnings of the tennis players featuring in the list have grown by $51 million.Published 29 May 2020, 20:57 IST