We have included in our list of tennis greats some names that some of us may well remember – names like Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe and Pete Sampras – alongside today’s reigning greats like Roger Federer and Serena Williams. Tennis stars have a lot of pull power when it comes to brand endorsements, much more than any other athletes, in our view. Take a look at their staggering endorsement fees!
1. Roger Federer
Net Worth: $900 million
Undoubtedly the wealthiest of all tennis stars must be Swiss man, Roger Federer. His off-court earnings have matched and surpassed his on-court earnings. This superlative tennis great endorses brands like Mercedes, Uniqlo, Barilla, Rolex, Moet & Chandon, Credit Suisse, Wilson, and Sunrise, to name a few.
He is the first tennis player to reach the top of the Forbes World’s Highest-Paid Athletes List in 2020.
With 103 career titles to his name and over 1200 wins, this 20 times Grand Slam champion is truly a legend.
His endorsement deals have reportedly fetched over 3 times his on-court prize money of $130 million. More importantly than dollar figures is the cultural impact, Federer has had on sports generally, and of course, tennis as a sport. He has widely been credited for reviving tennis as a sport and has been nicknamed the “Federer Express” or the “Swiss Maestro”.
As of 2020, Federer is estimated to have a personal fortune of some $450 million, although with on and off-court prize money and endorsement approaching $900 million in 2020, he is tipped to be the first tennis star billionaire.
2. Novak Djokovic
Net Worth: $220 million
He won his first Grand Slam singles title in 2008 at the Australian Open. Since then, he added 16 more Grand Slams under his belt, and a total of 70 career titles since he started professionally in 2003.
Djokovic is the first Serbian player to be ranked No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Players, and the first male player representing Serbia to win a Grand Slam singles title. He is a six-time ITF World Champion and a five-time ATP year-end No. 1 ranked player. Djokovic has also won numerous awards, including the Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsman of the Year (four times) and the 2011 BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award.
With a prize money of $145 million, he is currently the highest on-court earner in tennis. Djokovic is also the face of Mercedes Benz, Adidas, Uniqlo, Sergio Tacchini, Telekom Srbija, and Bombardier Aerospace.
As of 2020, this young Serbian is thought to be worth an estimated $220 million.
3. Serena Williams
Net Worth: $200 million
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) ranked her world No. 1 in singles on eight separate occasions between 2002 and 2017. She reached the No. 1 ranking for the first time on July 8, 2002. On her sixth occasion, she held the ranking for 186 consecutive weeks, tying the record set by Steffi Graf. In total, she has been No. 1 for 319 weeks, which ranks third in the Open Era among female players behind Graf and Martina Navratilova.
YES! This tennis great has won a record of 13 Grand Slam singles titles. Williams holds the Open Era record for most titles (7) won at the Australian Open and shares the Open Era record for most titles won at the US Open with Chris Evert (6). She also holds the records for the most women’s singles matches won at majors with 357 matches and most singles majors won since turning 30-years-old (10).
Williams has won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles, all with her sister Venus, and the pair have yet to be beaten in Grand Slam doubles finals.
She is ranked at No. 10 in the world by the WTA as of October 12, 2020. Over the course of her career, she has won prize money in total of some $93 million, and endorsement deals worth about $55 million. It looks like Serena could quickly double her wealth soon, although as of 2020, Serena Williams is estimated to be worth some $200 million.
4. Rafael Nadal
Net Worth: $180 million
This Spaniard is currently ranked world no. 2 in men’s singles tennis by the ATP. Nadal has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles, tied with Roger Federer, as well as 35 ATP Tour Masters 1000 titles, 21 ATP Tour 500 titles and 2 Olympic gold medals (one each for singles and doubles in 2008 and 2016 respectively). In addition, Nadal has held the world No. 1 ranking for a total of 209 weeks, including being the year-end No. 1 five times.
Nadal is the second male player after Andre Agassi to complete the singles Career Golden Slam, as well as the second male player after Mats Wilander to have won at least two Grand Slams on all three surfaces (grass, hard court, and clay). He has been named the ATP Player of the Year five times and the ITF World Champion four times. In 2011, Nadal was named the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year.
As far as endorsements are concerned, Nadal has been sponsored by Kia Motors since 2006 and he endorses Nike, among numerous other brands. Nadal famously replaced Cristiano Ronaldo as the face of Emporio Armani Underwear and Armani Jeans for the spring/summer collection of 2011.
In the course of his career, he has taken home a total of some $130 million in prize money and endorsement deals of about $26 million per annum.
As of 2020, this young Spanish tennis star is estimated to have a personal wealth of some $180 million.
5. Andy Murray
Net Worth: $165 million
Beating Novak Djokovic in the 2012 US Open final, Murray became the first British player since 1977 and the first British male to win a Grand Slam singles tournament. Murray is also the first British man to win multiple Wimbledon singles titles since Fred Perry in 1936. He won the tournament in 2013 and 2016.
Murray was born with a bipartite patella, a condition where the kneecap remains as two separate bones instead of fusing together in early childhood. Because of this condition, he has been seen holding his knee due to the pain caused by the condition and has pulled out of events because of it.
Knighted in the 2017 New Years Honors for services to tennis and charity, Sir Andrew Barron Murray is a three time Grand Slam tournament winner, a two-time Olympic champion, a Davis Cup champion and winner of the 2016 ATP World Tour Finals and a former world no. 1.
Andy Murray has over his career to date made some $62 million in prize money and his endorsements have earned him an annual fee of some $20 million. Andy endorses Standard Life, Head, Rado watch and, of course, Jaguar. Andy wears Castore on court and showcases Under Armour shoes.
As of 2020, this young Brit is estimated to have a personal wealth of some $165 million.
6. Andre Agassi
Net Worth: $175 million
A household name in the 90s, Andre Agassi was an eight-time Grand Slam champion and a 1996 Olympic gold medalist, as well as a runner-up in seven other Grand Slam tournaments.
He was the first male player to win all four Grand Slam tournaments on three different surfaces (hard, clay, and grass), and the last American male player to win both the French Open (in 1999) and the Australian Open (in 2003). He also won 17 ATP Masters Series titles and was part of the winning Davis Cup teams in 1990, 1992 and 1995.
Agassi reached the world No. 1 ranking for the first time in 1995 but sank to No. 141 in 1997 owing to personal issues. Agassi returned to No. 1 in 1999 and enjoyed the most successful run of his career over the next four years.
In total, Agassi has earned a total of some $30 million in prize money. In terms of endorsements, he’s endorsed Nike, Addidas, Penn, Kia Motors, Mountain Dew, Ebel Swiss watch and American Express.
As of 2020, although having hung up his racket since 2006, Andre Agassi is estimated to have a net worth of some $175 million.
7. Pete Sampras
Net Worth: $150 million.
Sampras was an American former professional tennis player whose professional career began in 1988 and ended at the 2002 US Open, where he defeated rival Andre Agassi in the final; he is the only man in the open era to have won the final Grand Slam tournament at which he competed.
Sampras has garnered 14 Grand Slam singles titles during his career, which was an Open Era record at the time of his retirement: seven Wimbledon, two Australian Opens and a joint Open Era record five US Open titles. He won 64 singles titles in total. He first reached world No. 1 in 1993 and held that position for a total of 286 weeks (placed third of all time), including an Open Era record of six consecutive year-end No. 1 rankings from 1993 to 1998.
A right-handed player with a single-handed backhand, he played with precision and power, earning him the nickname “Pistol Pete”.
In 2007, he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Throughout his career, Pete Sampras has collected a total of over $43 million in prize money.
In terms of endorsements, Sampras has endorsed Wilson, Babolat, Sergio Tacchini and Nike. Sampras has also been seen endorsing Dannon and Pizza Hut. On his own, Pete has invested in real estate with his wife Bridgette Wilson.
As of 2020, Sampras is thought to be worth an estimated $150 million.
8. Maria Sharapova
Net Worth: $135 million
Although since retired, Maria Sharapova competed on the WTA tour from 2001 to 2020 and was a world No. 1 in singles for a total of 21 weeks, ranked by the WTA on five separate occasions. She is one of ten women, and the only Russian, to hold the career Grand Slam. She is also an Olympic medalist, taking home a silver medal in the women’s singles at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
She has won five Grand Slam titles — two at the French Open and one at the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and one at the US Open. She has won 36 titles in total. She has also won three doubles titles.
Sharapova has endorsed various brands like Nike, and has also been the face of fashion houses, most notably for Cole Haan. Since 2007, she has been a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador for the Chernobyl Recovery and Development Program.
According to Forbes, she was the highest-paid female athlete in the world for 11 consecutive years and has made about $325 million in prize money and endorsements since she became professional in 2001, second only to Serena Williams.
As of 2020, this Russian tennis superstar is thought to have built up a personal fortune of some $135 million.
9. John McEnroe
Net Worth: $100 million
McEnroe was No. 1 ranking in both singles and doubles, finishing his career with 77 singles and 78 doubles titles. This feat remains the highest men’s combined total of the Open Era. He won seven Grand Slam singles titles, four at the US Open and three at Wimbledon, and nine men’s Grand Slam doubles titles. His singles match record of 82–3 in 1984 remains the best single-season win rate of the Open Era.
McEnroe also topped out at the year-end tournaments, winning eight singles and seven doubles titles, both of which are world records. Three of his singles year-end championships were at the Masters Grand Prix (the ATP year-end event) and five were at the World Championship Tennis (WCT) Finals, which played its last in 1989. Since 2000, there has been only one year-end men’s singles event, the ATP Finals (the new name for the Masters Grand Prix). He was named the ATP Player of the Year and the ITF World Champion three times each in in 1981, 1983, and 1984.
Those who saw him play would have also seen his tempers fly on-court. This tennis great made a total of some $12 million in prize money, but it was his endorsement deals, commentating, coaching, exhibition fees, and other appearance that over the years helped push his net worth to well of $100 million.
As of 2020, John McEnroe is thought to be worth some $100 million.
10. Venus Williams
Net Worth: $95 million
The younger sister of Serena, Venus has been ranked world no. 1 by WTA for a total of 19 weeks – 11 in singles and 8 in doubles, having first topped at no. 1 in singles in 2002.
She has a combined total of 23 Grand Slam titles and is neck-to-neck with Steffi Graf for the fourth-most by a women’s player in the Open Era behind Martina Navratilova, Serena, and Martina Hingis.
Williams has also won four Olympic gold medals, one in singles and three in women’s doubles with her sister, along with a silver medal in mixed doubles, tying her with Kathleen McKane Godfree for the most Olympic medals won by a tennis player in history. She and Serena are also the only tennis players in history with four Olympic gold medals, as well as the only ones to win Olympic gold in the same event on three separate occasions
However, for the elder Williams, she struggled since the 2018 season and has one match win in the 2020 season. Her ranking fell to 78 by the end of the season.
Still, as of 2020, Venus Williams is estimated to have a net worth of some $95 million. Over her career so far, she has bagged some $92 million in total prize money and endorsement fees of some $8 million per annum.
11. Li Na
Net Worth: $50 million
Li achieved a career-high WTA ranking of world No. 2 on 17 February 2014. Li has won 9 career titles – nine WTA Tour singles titles including two Grand Slam singles titles at the 2011 French Open and 2014 Australian Open. She was the first player from Asia to have won these titles.
Prior to this, she was the first player representing an Asian country to appear in a Grand Slam singles final, a milestone she made at the 2011 Australian Open.
Among her other most notable accolades, she was the first Chinese player to win a WTA tour title at the Guangzhou International Women’s Open in 2004, the first to reach a Grand Slam singles quarterfinal at the 2006 Wimbledon Championships, and the first to break into the world’s top ten.
In 2019, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
At home in China, Li became hugely popular, as the first Chinese tennis start to have broken into the international scene. Endorsement deals followed with both domestic and international brands, including Rolex, Mercedes, and, of course, Nike, making Li a wealthy woman off-court. Her manager famously negotiated for her to wear other sponsors’ patches while on court, something Nike who sponsored her usually did not permit. And she continues to do well in endorsements even after her retirement in 2014.
Her prize money was reported to have been over $16 million in total. As of 2020, Li Na is estimated to wield a personal fortune of some $50 million.
12. Bjorn Borg
Net Worth: $40 million
Borg is a former world No. 1 tennis player and heartthrob from Sweden. Between 1974 and 1981, he became the first man in the Open Era to win 11 Grand Slam singles titles (six at the French Open and five consecutive at Wimbledon), although he failed to win the US Open in four finals appearances before his retirement. He was also a three-time year-end champion and 16 Grand Prix Super Series titles holder. Overall, he set numerous records that still stand. Borg was the first player to win six French Open singles titles. He is considered to have been the No. 1 player in the world for 1977, 1978, 1979, and 1980.
Bjorn Borg has made over $3.6 million in prize money and about $1 million per annum over the years he was active. While compared to tennis greats like Federer who can command upwards of $60 million in endorsement deals, Borg was considered in his day to be one of the highest-paid tennis stars.
As of 2020, Bjorn Borg is estimated to have a net worth of some $40 million.
13. Simona Halep
Net Worth: $30 million
Simona Halep has been ranked world No. 1 in singles twice between 2017 and 2019. In total, she has been No. 1 for 64 weeks, which ranks tenth in the history of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings. Halep was the year-end No. 1 in 2017 and in 2018. She finished each year ranking no lower than No. 4 and has been ranked in the top 10 since 2014. She has won 22 WTA singles titles and has finished runner-up 17 times. Halep has won two Grand Slam singles titles at the 2018 French Open and at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.
Simona is a recipient of the Patriarchal Cross of Romania and the Order of the Star of Romania, and was named an honorary citizen of Bucharest. She is the third Romanian to be in the top 10 of the WTA rankings after Virginia Ruzici and Irina Spîrlea, and the second Romanian woman to win a Grand Slam singles title since Ruzici.
Halep represented Romania at the 2012 Olympics in London, but did not win, losing to Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan in straight sets during her opening round match. She did not participate in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro due to concerns over the Zika virus but is set to be the flag bearer for Romania at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, when it can be held.
As of 2020, Halep is estimated to have a personal wealth of some $30 million. Simona has over the course of her career take home some $37 million in prize money and makes in endorsement fees some $4 million per annum.
14. Caroline Wozniacki
Net Worth: $30 million
Caroline achieved top ranking in October 2010 for the first time, becoming the 20th player in the Open Era, and the first woman from Scandinavia to hold the top ranking position. She was the year-end No. 1 in both 2010 and 2011, held the top ranking for a combined total of 71 weeks and has won more than $35 million in prize money.
Caroline is known for her nifty footwork and defensive abilities. She is also known to have one of the strongest two-handed backhands in the history of tennis. She has won 30 WTA singles titles (including six in both 2010 and 2011, the most in a year by a WTA player from 2008–2011) and two doubles titles.
Having retired since the 2020 Australian Open in January 2020, she has, nevertheless, built up as of 2020 a personal fortune of some $30 million as well.
Caroline has banked in a total of $35 million in prize money so far and boasts endorsement fees of some $10 million per annum.
15. Angelique Kerber
Net Worth: $30 million
She is a former world No. 1 and winner of three Grand Slam tournaments. Angelique Kerber became professional in 2003 and got the attention of the world when she reached the semifinals of the 2011 US Open. She was ranked no. 92-ranked player in the world at the time.
On 12 September 2016, she became no. 22 and was the oldest player to achieve the number-one ranking for the first time.
Over the course of her career, Kerber has won 12 career singles titles across all surfaces on the WTA Tour, including multiple Grand Slam titles at the 2016 Australian Open, the 2016 US Open, and the 2018 Wimbledon Championships. She has also won an Olympic silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Kerber is currently ranked world No. 24 as of October 12, 2020.
As of 2020, Kerber is estimated to have a personal fortune of some $30 million, tying with Romanian player, Halep. Kerber has over the course of her career made some $30 million in prize money and takes home an endorsement salary of some $4 million per annum.