Top Seven Highest-Paid Male Tennis Stars

Cashing In on and Off the Court

Top Seven Highest-Paid Male Tennis Stars
August 30, 2015

When most people think of the highest-paid male athletes, tennis players are often overlooked. However, the combined endorsements and prize money are well into the millions of dollars per year for the highest-profile male tennis players. In fact, five of them made the 2015 Forbes list of highest-paid athletes, and three of them made the top 25. Here are the top seven highest-paid male tennis stars, using Forbes data and various sources.

  1. Roger Federer – Despite being denied his eighth Wimbledon title this year, and lacking a Grand Slam victory since his 2012 Wimbledon title, Federer (pictured above) still holds the record with 17 Grand Slam victories — and also holds the money title with his fifth-place standing on the Forbes list at $67 million over twelve months. Federer raked in $9 million in earnings and $58 million in endorsements from high-end clients such as Rolex, Credit Suisse, Nike, and Mercedes-Benz.

  2. Novak Djokovic – The winner of both the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2015 is arguably at the top of his game. Djokovic (pictured below) has appeared in Grand Slam finals in 13 of the last 18 events. He has the greatest prize money take at $17.2 million in winnings. Combined with $31 million in endorsements from companies including Seiko and Peugeot, Djokovic ranks 13th on the Forbes list with $48.2 million.

  3. Novak Djokovil

  4. Rafael Nadal – Nadal (pictured below) has been plagued by injuries and has yet to reach the promise from his incredible year in 2013. However, Nadal is still the king of Roland Garros with nine French Open titles. He is also the 22nd highest-paid athlete on the Forbes list with a total of $32.5 million. $4.5 million of that total is prize money, while $28 million is in endorsements from the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Telefonica, and Kia Motors.

  5. Rafael Nadal

  6. Andy Murray – The remaining member of the "big four," Murray (pictured below) broke through at Wimbledon in 2013 with his victory, the first UK native to win the title since 1936. Murray's take for the Forbes list is $22.3 million, composed of $6.3 million in winnings and $16 million in endorsements from Under Armour, Standard Life, and Head. That impressive total still puts him behind the top female tennis star.

  7. Andy Murray

  8. Kei Nishikori– Nishikori is the only Japanese player ever to reach the top ten in the world tennis rankings. Nishikori has 14 endorsements including Delta Airlines, Uniqlo, Wilson, Adidas, Jaguar, and Tag Heuer. His endorsement take is $15 million, raising his earnings total to $19.5 million.

  9. Stan Wawrinka – The winner of the 2015 French Open, Wawrinka (pictured below) is rising to the upper echelon of men's tennis. He lags far behind his Swiss countryman Federer with “only” about $4 million in earnings on the court, but also has a $20 million endorsement deal through 2018 with Yonex apparel. His earnings over the same period as the Forbes list (June 1, 2014 to June 1 2015) are likely in the $12 million-$14 million range.

  10. Stanislaw Wawrinka

  11. Tomas Berdych – The details of Berdych's H&M endorsement contract were not made public, but we have him in the seventh slot. He is 6th on the ATP prize winnings list at $2.4 million and his 2013 contract was presumably enough of a raise to peel him away from the deep pockets of Nike.

As much as these prime athletes make from their on-court endeavors, remember where the real money comes from — winning the off-court battle of endorsements


Roger Federer photo ©iStock.com/ EvrenKalinbacak | Novak Djokovic photo by Tatiana from Moscow, Russia (Novak Djokovic) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons | Rafael Nadal photo by Diliff (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons | Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka photos by Carine06 from UK (Andy Murray) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

  Conversation   |   38 Comments

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trish | 08.31.15 @ 14:43
All are amazing players. Still amazed by the amount of money they make.
Britt | 08.31.15 @ 14:43
That's a lot of money for people to make! Especially for a sport, but I'm sure there's good reason for that amount, I'm sure these athletes are amazing at what they do.
Elaine | 08.31.15 @ 14:48
Nothing really surprising about the top paid players. They are all really talented. Can't say they aren't worth it because once someone is paid that amount, it makes them worth it.
Beverly | 08.31.15 @ 14:50
It's always amazing the amount of money professional athletes make.......just boggles the mind.
Erin | 08.31.15 @ 14:56
I'm not surprised at the prize money they make, but the endorsements are outrageous. The kind of money companies are willing to spend to sell a product is ridiculous.
Crystal | 08.31.15 @ 14:57
All these players are talented and deserve to be paid for their special talents.
Steffanie | 08.31.15 @ 14:58
They are talented athletes but still sickening that they are paid that much.
Alec | 08.31.15 @ 14:59
I'm not sure why these people get paid so much to entertain. Because that's all televised and paid games are. I guess if you like sports, you don't mind supporting the players. However, I still think it's ridiculous the amount of money athletes get, great players or not.
Daniel Dohlstrom | 08.31.15 @ 15:02
Always amazed at what athletes make. Plenty of talent tons of hard work I just don't see that much being justified but it is what it is
Christina | 08.31.15 @ 15:08
Such huge amounts of money for entertaining the masses... sigh.
Sarah | 08.31.15 @ 15:12
I still think we're paying sports people way too much money just to entertain us. But that's just me.
Angie | 08.31.15 @ 15:12
The top male earner makes almost 3 times the amount that the top female earner makes - wow! There's a bit of a discrepancy here...
Rychana Vingia | 08.31.15 @ 15:15
This list doesn't surprise me since the top players are at the top. And the more seasoned athletes make more even if not winning a title.
Rindy | 08.31.15 @ 15:21
I am sure they think they are worth the pay but really it astounds me that we waste so much money on this sort of thing. There are so many in need.
Wanda Langley | 08.31.15 @ 15:29
I have seen some ads from some of their off-court of endorsements. Pays off well for them I think.
Nancy | 08.31.15 @ 15:30
While I can appreciate how amazing it is to watch anyone with this degree of talent, I still find it hard to comprehend the amounts of money these athletes bring in both on and off the court.
Sara | 08.31.15 @ 15:32
I know that is a lot of money for a sport. You know its sad when I really think about raising my daughter to be amazing at 1 sport just so maybe she can get paid like this. Then I remember that while they have money they are not as humble as some.
Bobbie | 08.31.15 @ 15:45
Congrats to them for making it to the top of their sports. Hope they are money savvy for when they are no longer raking in the big bucks.
Debbie | 08.31.15 @ 15:54
Endorsement money I can understand, though maybe not the excessive amounts. They have to work for that, commercials etc and if I pay $85, (which I don't and never have) for some shoes that they sponsor why shouldn't they get a cut?
Apryl | 08.31.15 @ 15:54
Sorry, just doesn't seem right to pay people this much money to hit fuzzy yellow balls...seriously. Where are our priorities?!
Wanda Langley | 08.31.15 @ 16:15
I like watchng Tennis games. These guys are all great players. It just amazes me as to how much they make playing this game.
Angie | 08.31.15 @ 16:27
I wonder if a large percentage of these well-paid athletes are into philanthropy? It would be nice to know - I'm hoping so - they could do so much good with that much money...
Irene | 08.31.15 @ 16:58
I honestly could not have named a single tennis player before this article. It's not something I follow and I'm amazed there is that much money in something so monotonous as smacking a ball back and forth
Kamie | 08.31.15 @ 17:46
I have always wondered who sat and determined from the beginning on how much people who participate in sports get.
Chelsey | 08.31.15 @ 18:04
That's a lot of money for a game. Wish I had the talent so I could make that much too!
Carla Truett | 08.31.15 @ 18:12
This makes me wish I had stuck with my tennis lessons in high school. lol Seriously though, I had no idea their salary was so big.
Crystal | 08.31.15 @ 18:19
I'd marry #3 without the money. Just blows me away how much they actually make though.
Courtney | 08.31.15 @ 18:39
Never realized they made this much! All are amazing players.
Andrea | 08.31.15 @ 19:00
Great players. But I think all athletes make way too much money.
Christina | 08.31.15 @ 19:09
It's surprising how much money they make. They have a gift for there talent.
Victor | 08.31.15 @ 19:18
It's incredible the amount of money pro athletes make, it will be good that other profession s will be paid that kind of money as well
Missy | 08.31.15 @ 20:06
Huge tennis fan!!! These players are amazing and most of the top players fund foundations to give back. The endorsement deals are enormous, but these companies obviously feel like they are getting bang for their buck or they wouldn't pay these exorbitant sums.
Heather | 08.31.15 @ 20:14
I have only heard of the top 4. But still crazy money to be earning even when you don't win the big tournaments.
Meredith L | 09.02.15 @ 13:37
Sigh... I wish I made that much money for playing games.
Katie Greene | 09.02.15 @ 20:01
It's crazy how much we pay our sports players and how little we pay people who keep the country running (doctors, nurses, firefighters, police, etc.) in comparison. Entertainment has always been big business.
George Middleton | 09.04.15 @ 02:05
Wow! Having a good talent pays off...
Casey | 09.04.15 @ 02:44
I wish our military got paid like athletes do.
Katie | 09.04.15 @ 10:20
Wow, who knew tennis players made that much money!!
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