Forbes: Roger Federer Remains The Highest Paid Player In Tennis

by Tom Gainey | June 10th, 2016, 8:59 am

According to Forbes, Roger Federer, despite his recent decline, is still the highest paid player in all of tennis.

Forbes just released its list of highest paid athletes, and Federer leads all tennis players (and individual sports athletes) at No. 4, $12 million ahead of Novak Djokovic in terms of last 12 months of total earnings. And that’s not because of prize money but rather endorsements where he still almost doubles Djokovic, $60M to $34M.

Rafael Nadal is down to No. 21 after seeing his on-court earnings diminish. Serena Williams leads all women.

1 Cristiano Ronaldo $88M (Soccer)
2 Lionel Messi $81.4M (Soccer)
3 LeBron James $77.2M (Basketball)
4 Roger Federer $67.8M (Tennis)
5 Kevin Durant $56.2M (Basketball)
6 Novak Djokovic $55.8M (Tennis)
7 Cam Newton $53.1M (Football)
8 Phil Mickelson $52.9M (Golf)
9 Jordan Spieth $52.8M (Golf)
10 Kobe Bryant $50M (Basketball)

Other tennis players on the list:
21 Rafael Nadal $37.5M (Tennis)
29 Kei Nishikori $33.5M (Tennis)
40 Serena Williams $28.9M (Tennis)
74 Andy Murray $23M (Tennis)
88 Maria Sharapova $21.9M (Tennis)

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49 Comments for Forbes: Roger Federer Remains The Highest Paid Player In Tennis

chrisford1 Says:

While fans and writers would rather talk about “prestige trophies” and prize money, the real money is in endorsements. While in some sports being outrageous and loud mouthed and controversial/colorful leads to the endorsement money trove – not tennis. Best positioned are “genteel people” from reasonable affluence who come from or live in large markets. Bland and uncontroversial seems to attract luxury brands. And for women, a Bouchard is better than a horse-toothed Madison Keys.

But it still rests a lot on winning, winning, winning…sometimes just one big win suffices to set up a Sharapova or an Ivanovic for life as a marketing machine on the lady’s side, but on the men’s, multiple Slams or being Andy Roddick back when the Legends were waning and he was supposed to be the next big American Market Thing!

Roger gets paid so much because he captures the qualities Mercedes, Rolex, Credit Suisse want..and fell right into giant Nikes select bin of “classy athletes” to fill that Nike subniche….while loud brash players fill another Nike niche.

Daniel Says:

Think this is Fed’s last year on top of Djoko in earnings.

Djoko is winning more and more in prize money (which increase by the year) and as he is more mature, 29 (almost peak of man adulthood) he will get more contracts with other brands focusong not on a young athlete bit with more man appeal.

The biggest market for tennis still is the man over 30, who have the money to pay for apparal and buy stuff for their children.

Dennis Says:

Daniel, I doubt it’s the last year Fed will top Djokovic in total earnings. Like it or not, Fed is more marketable globally and still has more overall cachet as an endorser than Novak does, especially with high-end brands that can pay the most. Novak may win more on court these days, but Fed will likely top him in endorsements for a while. Even when he retires, Federer is likely to top many current players in endorsements for a long time.

J-Kath Says:

And Kei must be more marketable than Andy!!! Yep, Japan got a lot of money.

@Dennis: Federer will need to be seen to top current endorsements for current players.??? Must be Grigor and co.who are part of some business set-up?

jane Says:

personally i am suprised to see kei above andy on this list, j-kath, especially as andy has simon fuller as a PR person, the same guy who represents beckham. but you’re right that japan has a lot of money indeed.

jane Says:

on another note, is it guaranteed that andy will have the number 2 seed at wimbledon? i know he’s like 2000 pts ahead of roger, but since wimbledon does that mucking with past results and fed’s been in the finals the past 2 years running, does that mean they might adjust? just curious if anyone knows the “forumla” and can say for sure either way?

chrisford1 Says:

Believe it or not, in his mid-30s, Roger has turned the tide on Andy, who once led him 11-9, reeling off the last 5 straight. Including the Wimbledon humiliation.
If anything, organizers want another Andy-Fed matchup, both away from Novak’s half.

elina Says:

cf1, that’s because fed is playing better than he used to when Murray had the advantage!

More proof that Fed knows his level better than his fans.

Jac Says:

so Wimbledon ranking is ATP points from 16.06+100% points from all grass events last 12 months + 75% of best grass event.

So Andy getting 500+720+540= 1720
Roger 500+1200+75%*1200+250(If he wins Stuttgart)=2850
If we take best possible rankings:
Andy: 8915+1720=10635
Roger: 6905+2850=9755

So there is no way Roger is nr.2 in Wimbledon

mat4 Says:

This really baffles me. Google search, news, Australia edition, keywords: Novak Djokovic.

And that’s what I got:

1)ESPN What Murray has to do to win Wimbledon
2)How can Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon?
3)Andy Murray’s misfortune: He’s the same age as Novak Djokovic
4)Andy Murray congratulates Novak Djokovic for achieving Career …
5) Novak Djokovic: Winning French Open was ‘one of the most …

Daniel Says:


I thibk the formula is:

ATP rabking a week prior Wimby + 100% of all grass tourneys last 52 weeks + 75% of all grass tournys 52 weeks prior.

Examole, thye will count Fed’s rabking points as of June 20th plus 100% of all grass tourneys he playes last 52 weeks (Wimby 2015, Stutgart 2016 and Halle 2016) plus 75% of year prior (Wimby 2014 and Halle 2015).

Fed has pretty decent shot of overtaking Andy if he wins Stutgart and Halle and Andy underpeform in Queens this year. It will be close.

So they tak me

Jac Says:

Uhh wait Andy wasn’t in semi’s 2 years ago so he will get 270 not 540. Still same thing, not enough points for Roger.

Daniel Says:

Well, jac did the math and it won’t matter.

mat4 Says:

When I introduce a time limit, 24h, then I get just a few results in English (ESPN — about Murray, the Yibada, Indu Times), then the results switch to other languages and other countries.

mat4 Says:

The situation is very different with Andy Murray. Check for yourselves, if you want.

jane Says:

i read that andy hasn’t cinched the #2 seed yet, which is why i was asking.

mat4, what? how weird. how to google search results prioritize? i think you can choose either by relevancy or by date.

jane Says:

mat4 what were your search words again?

mat4 Says:

Novak Djokovic…

jane Says:

i tried the same. the first 3 articles were also on murray for me, and then the 4th one was about novak’s “slam window”

jane Says:

i asked my friend about wimbledon #2 seeding and here’s what she said:

“Andy hasn’t quite clinched the #2 seed. If Roger wins Stuttgart & Halle and Andy loses before the semis in Queens, the #2 seed goes to Roger. Long shot, but possible”

Travis Bickle Says:


You’ve explained #2 seed.
However, who will be the #1 seed?

For what it’s worth, I like Djoker and Murray and am neither Serbian nor Scottish…

Also, I like our own Giles and am definitely not Jane Goodall!

J-Kath Says:

Jane: You got me thinking re. Wimbledon seeding.
Andy currently has 2,260 points over Roger in normal rankings.
Roger and Andy gain 100% for 2015 and 75% for 2014 and 2015.
ROGER: Wimbledon 2015 gains 1200. (100%)
ROGER: Wimbledon 2014 gains 900. (75%)
ROGER: Halle 2015 achieves 500. (100%)
ROGER: Halle 2014 achieves 188. (75%)
Sub-Total: Roger has 2,788 in terms of c/f grass points
Andy: Wimbledon 2015 gains 720 (100%)
Andy: Wimbledon 2014 gains 360 (75%)
Andy: Queens 2015 gains 500 (100%)
Andy: Queens 2014 estimate 90 (75%)
Sub-Total: Andy has 1,680 in respect of c/f grass points

Rankings points: Andy has 2,260 points more than Roger. Add Andy’s grass c/f points and he has 3,940 overall.
Roger has 2,788 on the same basis.
At the moment Andy is certainly No. 2 at Wimbledon leading Roger by 1,152 points. Don’t see how Roger can beat that.
Hopefully I’m not wrong and Andy gets No. 2 ranking.
To any one else who wants to read this (apart from Jane)
Let me down gently please if I’m wrong.

“Hee Haw Marjorie daw.
Johnie shall have a new Master”

That said, may have made massive mis-calculation (it being 2 wines down the drain since I started).

Jac Says:

I’m not sure how Queens/Halle is counted for Wimbledon. I got inpresion that ranking are closed on 16th of June, but I may be wrong.
If I’m wrong then and this year Halle/Queens is taken, then Andy needs to get to semis in Queens to ensure 2nd seed in Wimbledon.


Okiegal Says:

@J-Kath…..In Oklahoma it is see saw Marjorie Daw…..good to see that little quote…heard it often on the school playground…either while on the teeter totter or jumping rope….can’t remember which…..too long ago!! LOL

Daniel Says:


Rabkings for Wimbledon closes on June 20th, adter Halle/queens.


They count last 52 weeks prior to June 20th which means all rankings for grass tiu rya from Wimby 2015 to Halle/Queens 2016 counts extra 100% and 75% of Wimbledon 2014 to Halle/Queens 2015.

That’s why it will dependaon how Roger and Murray perfrom next week. If Andy loses vefore semis he loses 410 in his rabking points and count only what he wins in Queens this year as extra 100%. So it can cost him more than 800 pts while Roger can add 250 from Stutgart and addanother 500 if he defends Halle. Plus with hos two Wimby runner up he has a chance.

It all can be decided tomorrow, if he loses to Thiem basically the #2 seed goes to Andy. But if he wins next two matches it will boil down to next week.

mat4 Says:

Novak contract with Uniqlo ends this year. If he manages to win another slam, or the OG gold, I would be curious to see whose apparel he would wear next year.

Hope it won’t be Adidas.

J-Kath Says:


I believe those results are covered. Stuttgart is only 250. It will make no difference if Roger wins it or not. I have also assumed Roger will win Halle. There is sufficient slack in the numbers to cover any loss at Queens for Andy.

Okiegal Says:

If Novak wants to keep up in the fashion department…..Nike be the one…it is the sharpest gear on the market… none!! Don’t argue with me because I’m old and know fashion!! Lol

mat4 Says:


Who am I to argue with you? Anyway, I wouldn’t like to see Novak as a zebra or another animal…

Giles Says:

Nike have Fedal, they don’t need joker!

BBB Says:

At the risk of incurring your wrath, Okie, I think Nike has really slipped in the past few years. There used to be a time I’d like most of what they produce, but now I find it to be slim pickings.

Wog Boy Says:

I am pretty sure Nole is staying with Uniqlo, why would you change sponsor who is the richest man in Japan and your personal friend, commanding the biggest market in the world, Asian market. Until few years ago it wasn one single Uniqlo shop in Australia, now only Sydney itself has three or four large Uniqlo shops, excellent choice and quolity and much cheaper than any other brand.

BBB Says:

WB, I think Kei has probably plateau-ed. All the more reason for Djokovic to stay with Uniqlo.

Wog Boy Says:

Why are you doing that to me BBB, now I have to google what is “plateau-ed”..

Wog Boy Says:

Ok, I found it and you are right BBB.

BBB Says:

LOL. Sorry WB! Feel free to teach me a bunch of Serbian words, though I warn you, I already know the bad ones.

Wog Boy Says:

I bet you do BBB, when I came to Australia my Aussie workmates were proud to show me their knowledge of Serbian language and I had to warn them if they are to come to my house not even to think to exercise their knowledge of Serbian, since my wife wouldn’t believe me tha I didn’t teach them those “nice” words..

Anto Says:

Federer lost to theim. I am so happy for theim.

Bianca Says:

The article clearly mixes apples and oranges. When we talk about pay of athletes in any sport we talk about their earnings in the sport itself. Salaries, bonuses, game and championship earnings. Forbes list is the list of wealth which includes sponsorships, marketing, speaches etc.

Let us stick with the earnings in the sport. When we talk of quartetbacks, basketball players, etc. and how much are they paid — we are not talking about their marketability. Let’s leave this for Forbes. Djokovic is the highest earner in tennis. End story. But anything to “prove” that it is not so, will generate misleading stories.

Same goes for “goat” discussion,. Djokovic has nothing more to prove — even if he stops playing today. The head to head among three “goats” i — tells tells all. Djokovic is ahead of the pack in every category . Only Djokovic is a holder of all four slams — and he need not strive for “calendar”. Nadal and Federer will never hold that record. How many slams is irrelevant. Greatness of Rod Leaver proves that. Trying to put Djokovic down by damnation of the slight praise has become annoyingly transparent.

BBB Says:

Bianca, I think many underestimate how good Djokovic is. But just as they shouldn’t write off the importance of winning 4 majors in a row, nor should anyone write off winning 17 majors. It’s not irrelevant. I don’t think any single factor is dispositive, and that’s why the discussion is futile, unless people are willing to be impartial and not cherrypick the facts that support their favorite player’s status.

And I say this as someone who likes Djokovic and dislikes Federer.

jane Says:

i really love uniqlo clothes, and love their stores, but i find nike so cliche and boring (no offense, but in the style dept i find it’s a brand that is lacking). so i hope novak doesn’t switch. for the ladies i love the stella mcartney designed adidas.

jane Says:

” Djokovic has nothing more to prove — even if he stops playing today.” – totally agree bianca! :)

Bianca Says:

BBB — i actually agree with you. I just wanted to illustrate how ridiculous the “goat” discussion can be. Without ignoring any other “goat” accomplishments.

One can never ignore Federer’s record number of slams — just as one cannot ignore Nadal’s amazing accomplishments at French Open or any other rare feats that all career grand slam winners accomplished in tennis. And many others that never made career grand slam. The idea that Djokovic “must” do this or that — to reach somebody’s idea of a “goat” cherry to be picked — makes no sense, Because if we are going to cherry pick — let’ do that. In which case Djokovic has already picked off many of them. His basket is full of cherries. Why would the one cherry — number of grand slams — be the only one that determines who is the best? I am convinced that even if Djokovic meets all other “conditions” whate er they are — he will still not be “the one” as he would probably lose points for style. He will always be just not good enough because — fill in the blanks.
I hope he stops chasing the illusion — and just enjoys his life on and off the court. And never EVER be nervous on the court. He has nothing to prove to anybody.

Wog Boy Says:


I don’t know you knew this, but within few days Paris was plastered with these posters, literally everywhere, from metro to bus stops you name it. French were ready and expecting Nole will make history, like no one since Mr Laver.

Wog Boy Says:

For Nole fans, Jelena is celebrating her 30th birthday in one Belgrade restaurant, all family and friends are there, they were having fun, check out the video in this link:

BBB Says:

Bianca, sorry for misunderstanding your post.

skeezer Says:

“.. that’s because fed is playing better than he used to..”
Fed IS making more money than he used to ( read topic story ). #4 in the world of ALL athletes. He is still the top draw in Tennis, obvioulsy.

Jun Says:

Yes, but he isn’t the best. The most arrogant-yes, but not the best. The ‘best arrogant’? Yes.

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