Tuesday December 5, 2023

Tennis’ Top Stars Cash In Mostly Off the Court

  • The biggest stars in tennis make the large majority of their money through sponsorships, investments, and other off-court activity.
  • Roger Federer made $90 million in the last year off-court and $600,000 in tournament winnings.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks
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Collectively, Roger Federer, Naomi Osaka, and Serena Williams have earned $192.5 million over the last year — yet, only a small fraction of their income has come from playing tennis.

According to Forbes, tennis’ top six earners since the start of the 2020 U.S. Open  brought in $283.5 million, only $20.5 million (7.2%) of which was made on the court.

  • Roger Federer topped the list with $90.6 million in earnings — $90 million from off-court activities. He invested $54 million in the shoe company On, which may IPO later this year. 
  • Naomi Osaka ($60.1 million) and Serena Williams ($41.8 million) were the second- and third-highest earners. Of the $101.9 million they earned, only $6.9 million came from tournament winnings.
  • Kei Nishikori, Japan’s top-ranked player, benefitted from the Tokyo Olympics this year, earning $25 million in sponsorships on top of $1 million in tournament winnings.

The sport is top-heavy when it comes to earnings: Only seven players made over $10 million in the last 12 months. The 10th-highest earner, top-ranked women’s player Ashleigh Barty, earned $5.8 million in total.

The U.S. Open, which began on Monday, has a record prize pool of $57.5 million. That sum will be more evenly distributed than in previous years, with each singles’ winner pocketing $2.5 million — a 35% drop from 2019. 

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