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Tennis News • GOAT Of Athletic Earnings • Roger Federer Tops Forbes List With $106 Million In 2019

By Ricky Dimon

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Roger Federer stands alone at the top.

The 38-year-old may not dominate the ATP rankings like he did in his prime, but he still tops a chart that includes every athlete–not just tennis players. On Friday, Forbes released its list of the top 100 highest-earning athletes over the past 12 months. Federer came in at No. 1 with $106.3 million, beating out the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and LeBron James.

The top 10:

1. Roger Federer $106.3M
2. Cristiano Ronaldo $105M
3. Lionel Messi $104M
4. Neymar $95.5M
5. LeBron James $88.2M
6. Stephen Curry $74.4M
7. Kevin Durant $63.9M
8. Tiger Woods $62.3M
9. Kirk Cousins $60.5M
10. Carson Wentz $59.1M

Federer, who made $100 million in endorsement deals with Uniqlo, Credit Suisse, Mercedes-Benz, Rolex, Wilson, and eight other brands, is the first tennis player to be No. 1 in Forbes’ 30-year history of ranking athletes.

“The coronavirus pandemic triggered salary cuts for soccer stars Messi and Ronaldo, clearing the way for a tennis player to rank as the world’s highest-paid athlete for the first time,” said Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor of Forbes. “Roger Federer is the perfect pitchman for companies, resulting in an unparalleled endorsement portfolio of blue-chip brands worth $100 million a year for the tennis great.”

Five other tennis players made the list–all in the top 40.

23. Novak Djokovic $44.6M
27. Rafael Nadal $40M
29. Naomi Osaka $37.4M
33. Serena Williams $36M
40. Kei Nishikori $32.1M

This marks the first time that two women–regardless of sport–have appeared in the top 100 since 2016, when both Williams and Maria Sharapova found themselves on the list. Osaka’s $37.4 million makes her the highest-earning female athlete ever in a single year.

“Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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