Novak Djokovic Now Leads Roger Federer In Career Prize Money

by Tom Gainey | April 3rd, 2016, 4:06 pm

Also by winning his 6th Miami Open title, Novak Djokovic caught and passed Roger Federer for the lead in all-time career prize money on the tennis tour.

ATP Career Prize Money
1) Novak Djokovic $98,199,548
2) Roger Federer $97,855,881

Djokovic now has the inside track on Federer to become the first player to pass $100 million.

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32 Comments for Novak Djokovic Now Leads Roger Federer In Career Prize Money

Wog Boy Says:

I do believe if the inflation has been calculated that Roger is already over 100m and ahead of Nole, not that really matters.

George Says:

Federer and Djokovic are players from the same era that played concomitantly and, therefore, correction for inflation would not be appropriate.

James Says:

The bulk of Djokovic’s titles are from 2011 onwards. The bulk of Federer’s titles are from 2004-09. Its a no-brainer that inflation adjusted is needed – though it might not be more than 10% or so in total.

Not that it really matters – this stat is rather useless. And prize money is just a small fraction of their total earnings anyway.

Trevor Says:

This stat isn’t really relevant because prize money has always increased over the years. If you calculated every player’s earnings at the current prize money level for each tournament the list would look completely different.

Lodhi Says:

Judgement regarding matters that involve the GOAT should be delegated to skeezer.

chrisford1 Says:

A lot of stats are flawed. Affected by inflation, differing extent of competition, a team player’s stats drop off then you realize it’s because the guy is so good he had to be double teamed.

The 100 million dollar man sounds good. Probably hyped to show if golf, US football, baseball, basketball, and real football can have 100 million dollar men, tennis if smaller in following, now joins them with a 100 million dollar man of their own.
The big money is endorsements. Fed clears 50 mil a year from that. Sharapova is the world’s highest paid woman in sports for her endorsement deals and appearance fees – certainly not because she is the best athlete.
In terms of NET money made = Fed is the colossus of tennis. He’s raking in 60 mil a year and will be making tons even after he retires

Green Lady Says:

I very much doubt Roger will be losing much sleep, because Novak has more prize money, hes still the biggest draw in tennis when it comes to endorsements, and this only covers career earnings though not other earnings anyway, hes still the best ever when it comes to that ….

gee Says:

The 2002-2006 competition was worth 0 so Novak deserves more than $200 million in prizes and endorsements.
Gove him a bonus for not belittling GOAT opponents.

danica Says:

I always wonder what people do with that much money? How can you even fathom such numbers?

J-Kath Says:


Maybe they run for President?
Buy a small village?
The mind boggles at what one could do….

George Says:

I have just realised the meaning of this. Djokovic turned pro in 2003 and this money is earned in period 2003-present. Federer had access to exact the same pot of money plus the money from 1998 (when Federer turned pro)-2003 and yet Djokovic earned more. As money takes into account all successes/failures (you are paid for every round so earned money reflects everything and not just trophies) this is simply a mathematical proof that Djokovic is more successful player than Federer and than anybody else who played during period 2003-present.

Juis Says:

Inflation and the fact that prize money increases constantly. Djokovic peaked later than Federer did and so the bulk of his success were in the later years while Federer’s was earlier.

Daniel Says:

Fed has more titles, more Slams, more Slams finals, 4 less Masters but way more Masters finals than Djoko.

You apply today the same prize money for all this (which are the bulk of the prixe money earnings) Fed would have way more.

In order to have a true comparission proze money had to remain the same and they pkay exactly in the same spam.

Bit they didn’t prize money increase every year and uou have to take in inflation as well.

For example, Djoko has just 1 more Maters than Nadal but less finals (eviu tough he has more WTF titles). On paper he shouldb’t have this much more prize money than Nadal.

Just compare how many Federer won gor his first Wimby title to Novak’s last AO. Probably last AO payrd double in bot more.

Masters are pating 1 mi now when a few years ago it was less than 500k.

This doesn’t show that Djoko is more successfull than Federer just that he won most of his titles (10 Slams and 20+ Maters in last 5 years).

It’s similar to movie records boxoffice. They all shows the record holder and inflation adjusted. That’s why Star Wars EPIV will never be surpassed.

It is a great record though, he is the first to reach 100 mi.

But it is not representative of the true money picture.

George Says:

@Daniel: Every tournament Djokovic played, Federer played, and Djokovic got more money.

Wog Boy Says:


That is because Roger wasn’t in his prime when prize money got jacked up..:)

On the serious note, you do have a point, they played entire Nole’s career alongside each other, plus Roger had extra five years head start and yet Nole ended up ahead.

Wog Boy Says:

^^^ should say “George,” not “George?”

jalep Says:

Daniel is of course, right. Hits the nail smack on the head. Get the inflation calculators out. My guess is that they aren’t even keeping up with inflation – they’d need to pay Nole more!

Not going to spend time calculating like I did 6 months ago. Do it yourselves!

The money stat is click bait and bogus until they start adjusting for inflation.

George Says:

@jalep: Here are calculations (see below; interesting); it finishes with 2015 so you can just add what they got in 2016. I look forward to your comments.

Truthsquad Says:

Here’s the bottom line. Everyone on this list is set for life. No one commenting on the subject is. All else irrelevant.

jalep Says:

Thanks, George. That is an interesting chart.
I’m not going to add on 2016 – if you want to do it – great.

I think my complaint is that Tennis-x puts these headlines up as click bait because it pits against and winds up Federer vs Djokovic minds. Then they catch me because they don’t say how or where they arrived at the numbers by adjusting for inflation or what.

17.6% is the rate when converting 2006 to 2016. You have to make 1.76 million today to have 1 million in 2006. Okay. If the ATP data from 2006 is accurate.

Since I had not read that site before, I start to wonder where the author’s motive and bias might be in compiling the numbers and this made me have more confidence in Moss:
Very good.

Then thinking about it further…

could also be misleading if you think about the 81.4% inflation from 1990 and it goes up as you go back in time. Even if you go back prior to 2009, you then get into the missing data from the ATP problem.

Add what Moss admits in article, “51 – Adjusted for Inflation, the ATP’s current elite are the best paid ever,” I’m skeptical:

“* In 1985 and in the following years, Ivan Lendl earned sufficient prize money to make the inflation-adjusted top 20. However, this table also includes a conservative estimate of his inflation-adjusted earnings from his early career up until 1984. This is likely to underestimate his total inflation-adjusted earnings hence the asterisk (*) applied. In the absence of data published by the ATP, research is ongoing to create a robust methodology to estimate the inflation-adjusted earnings of the likes of Borg, McEnroe and Connors.”

I say good luck with your work Andrew Moss. It’s got to be tedious.

At any Rate – who really needs the money stat? I suppose that’s the real motive for compiling and writing it up. As a fan I don’t need the money stat to see that Novak Djokovic has been kicking ass since 2011. Nadal had a stellar year in there but that’s it. It’s all Nole ole.

Andrew Moss Says:

Thanks Jalep and George. Imagine: at least the ATP publishes the data. I’m a fan of the WTA tour but they don’t have the data readily available…

Even adjusting for inflation, even overestimating the amount of prize money the likes of Borg, Connors and McEnroe were paid in the 70s and 80s (from the little data that exists) they earned significantly less than the players of today.

George Says:

@Andrew Moss: Good to hear from you. You do a great job.
@Truthsquad: You can’t claim that as you don’t know identity of posters.

Wog Boy Says:


Not necessarily, let us see how they are going to handle the life after retirements. We’ve seen so many players going broke, marriages falling apart, in all sports…just start with Bjorn Borg, Mark Philippoussis (has to play legend tour to pay his debts) in tennis and they are not the only ones in tennis.
Money comes, but money goes even faster if you are not smart.

Daniel Says:

Also, the prize money increased over the years, so anyhtng won in last year worth more than in the past.

Let’s do a simple math:

1) 1 mi for Slam win, 600k for final
2) 750 k for WTF, 450 k for final
3) 500k for Master and 300 k for final
There are a lot of others amount to add, but this ones are what pay the more

17 x 1mi + 9 x 600k + 6 x 750k + 3 x 450k + 24 x 500k + 18 x 300k = 46 mi

– Nadal:
14 x 1mi + 6 x 600k + 2 x 450k + 27 x 500k + 14 x 300k = 36 mi

– Djokovic:
11 x 1mi + 8 x 600k + 6 x 750k + 28 x 500k + 12 x 300k = 38 mi

If the prize moneys were the same this would be the rate what the earnings should be. Even if we consider semis, quarters and smaller tournaments, Fed would still have more as he reached and won more of those than the other 2.

The point is prize money increase, Djoko just won 1 mi for Miami which probably was more than Fed first Wimbledon.

And the tournaments doesn’t pay the same, IW and Miami pay more due to more rounds, so even if you add more money for those for Djoko who had 11 of those compared to Fed’s 5 and Nadal 3 IW, he wouldn’t be ahead.

You have to see the bigger picture. The most successful player of recent times in the level of greatness of Djoko with 10 Plus Slams and 28 Masters would have more money.

If someone else wins 10 Slams and 20 masters in the next 5 -7 years and Djoko doesn’t win nothing more for sure this player would be the record holder of total prize money even with less titles, because prize increase annually, always.

jalep Says:

@ Andrew Moss. Cheers 👍 Bookmarked your site to follow. I’m a big fan of WTA tour, too. Collecting WTA data must be a headache, tho. Appreciate your work.

RZ Says:

@Daniel – thanks for the math. You are right that it’s not just inflation, it’s also how much tournaments offer as prize money.

jalep Says:

Posting Moss’s link again. Tried to screen shot his totals for 2015 but couldn’t do it. Anyway as George notes the 2016 earnings are not added. Adding them isn’t difficult but I have no time!

Moss includes his interpretations:
“Some findings to highlight from the above table:

Despite recent increases in prize money, Federer remains the lead prize money earner of the 3 players with an inflation-adjusted total of USD 108.6m.
In career terms, Djokovic passed Nadal’s inflation-adjusted prize money total this year and could conceivably overtake Federer’s actual and inflation-adjusted totals in 2016.
This underlines Djokovic’s recent dominance: over the last 5 years, adjusted for inflation, Djokovic (USD 75m) has earned as much as Federer and Nadal combined (USD 76m). In this period, only in 2013 was Djokovic not the lead prize money earner.
Set against the historical context, where in the last 5 years the men’s leading player has generally earned an inflation-adjusted USD 14m, Djokovic’s year in 2015 can be seen for the outstanding achievement it is.
Federer’s prize money earnings have remained remarkably consistent, a tribute both to his continuous high level of play and sustained fitness. Only in 2013, when Federer admitted to a long-standing back problem, do earnings show a dip.
In contrast, Nadal’s well-documented problems with injury (where he missed parts of the 2009 and 2012 seasons) together with a dip in form in 2015 are responsible for larger fluctuations in his prize money totals.
As outlined in the previous article in this series, Djokovic’s earnings in 2015 were the product both of sustained excellence and of increases in (in particular) grand slam prize money over the last 4 years. Therefore, in comparison to Djokovic, it is fair to say that Federer and Nadal’s earnings are somewhat depressed given that the majority of their grand slam success took place prior to 2011. (Federer won 16 of his 17 grand slams prior to 2011; Nadal won 9 of his 14.)”

RZ Says:

^ However, having said that, it doesn’t change the fact that both Novak and Fed are likely to pass $100 million mark soon. Inflation or no, prize money increases or no, that’s a lot of dough!

jalep Says:

Credit to George! thanks for Moss’s link yesterday.

jalep Says:


Look at the bottom line in table in the link. Adjusted for inflation Federer has already passed 100 mil. Last year. Adding the 2016 totals – I don’t know…no time to do it but surely Novak is close to passing the 108 mil.

Yeaahhh…a lot of dough!

If tennis-x had posted their source perhaps that would help. But glad I got to read the Moss site. Particularly liked his article about WTA and ATP prize money. It’s all a work in progress…

RZ Says:

@Jalep – maybe one day one of them will give me 0.001% of their prize money. They wouldn’t miss it! :-)

jalep Says:

Hmm…how to get them to gimme some 🕵 😜

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