Australian professional tennis player Christopher O’Connell won 82 matches in 2019 but only pocketed around $15,000, according to The New York Times.
O’Connell has been ranked as high as No. 111 in the world, but to support his dream, the 25-year-old has cleaned boats and worked retail.
“If you are not in the top 100, you are basically not making any money,” former Wimbledon doubles champion Vasek Pospisil told the Times.
On the other hand, Roger Federer, who has won 20 Grand Slam titles, is the seventh-highest-paid athlete in the world with total earnings of $90 million for 2021, per Forbes.
About half of the NBA’s and NFL’s total revenue is distributed to its players, while the $53.4 million in prize money at last year’s U.S. Open amounted to around 14% of the tournament’s gross revenues.
Unlike many other professional sports, tennis doesn’t have a union.
- Pospisil teamed with Novak Djokovic to establish the Professional Tennis Players Association, an organization that negotiates on behalf of players.
- The PTPA is backed by a trio of billionaires: hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, Spin Master co-founder Anton Rabie, and Just Energy Group founder Rebecca Macdonald.
Female players have yet to voice any support of the PTPA, while Federer and Rafael Nadal also oppose the group.