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Wealth Giving Roger Federer Ranked By Forbes As World's Highest Paid Athlete Of 2020

Roger Federer Ranked By Forbes As World's Highest Paid Athlete Of 2020

Switzerland's Roger Federer reacts as he speaks to the audience after victory over Netherlands Robin Haase in their quarter-final singles tennis match for the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam on February 16, 2018. Roger Federer became the oldest world number one on February 16, 2018, when the 20-time Grand Slam title winner reached the semi-finals of the Rotterdam Open. The 36-year-old Swiss overcame an early setback to beat Robin Haase of the Netherlands 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 and will replace old riv
(Image: John Thys/AFP)
By Kaitlyn McInnis
June 02, 2020
The Swiss athlete is the first tennis player to garner the number 1 spot

Swiss tennis star Roger Federer is officially the highest-paid athlete of the year, with an estimated total pre-tax earnings of US$106 million in the past twelve months.

The tennis player beat out both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have respectively held the number one spot three of the past four years. The two football players earned a combined US$209 million—which is a US$28 million drop from the previous year, mainly because of salary reductions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

(Related: Kylie Jenner Has Been Dropped From Forbes’ Billionaires List—Here’s Why)

Federer managed to edge past both Ronaldo and Messi largely due to the “best endorsement portfolio in the world of sports” according to Forbes. The tennis player earned approximately US$100 million from his endorsement deals with Mercedes-Benz, Uniqlo, Credit Suisse, and ten other brands, which allowed him to jump from fifth place to the top spot in just one year.

It’s also the first time that two women have made the ranks since 2016; 22-year-old Naomi Osaka earned US$3.4 million in tournament pay and US$34 million from brand endorsements while Serena Williams earned US$4 million in tournaments and US$32 million in endorsements.

(Related: 5 Youngest Billionaires in Asia, According to Forbes' 2020 Richest List)

Interestingly, NFL players had the best year in the group despite the fact that more NBA players make the list than any other sport. This is largely due to the NFL season’s late-summer start, which remained unaffected by Covid-19. MLB players took the biggest hit following the postponement of the season in March.

According to Forbes, the total earnings of the 100 top earners (US$3.6 billion), which includes athletes from over 21 countries across ten different sports, was down by 9 per cent year over year, which is the first decline since 2016, when Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao had skewed the numbers with their US$400 million pay-per-view “Fight of the Century” payout.

The earnings downturn is likely to extend for another ranking season before picking back up as Nascar and German football are the only sports leagues to pick back up after the pandemic thus far. 

(Related: Maria Sharapova is Retiring: A Look Back On Her Colourful Tennis Career)


Wealth & Giving Roger Federer Forbes Forbes rich list highest paid athlete highest paid athlete of the year Roger Federer earnings Forbes 2020


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