Top five wealthiest tennis players might shock you, besides Federer

Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /

Tennis players, like most professional athletes, can make a lot of money by being good at the sport. Players with sustained success, like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Serena Williams, earn top money by winning Grand Slams and then gaining sponsors who want the player to push their product. But among the five wealthiest people who are playing or have played tennis, that doesn’t always hold true.

In one case below, a player did well enough but then moved on to coaching and that helped push his income north. Another on the top-five list didn’t even need to play the sport at all to be wealthy. And one of the best players ever, Rafael Nadal, didn’t even make it on the top-five list.

Every player in the top 11 earners, as reported by, has amassed a wealth of over $100 million so they aren’t worrying about if they can afford tissue paper, obviously. Outside the top five from six through 11 are Nadal ($220 million), Maria Sharapova ($180 million), Andre Agassi ($175 million), Pete Sampras ($150 million), and then Andy Murray and John McEnroe, both of whom are scraping by with just $100 million. So who’s in the top five?

Five wealthiest tennis players in the world (yes, including Roger Federer!)

Number 5: Novak Djokovic ($220 million)

Djokovic has made his money by winning 23 Grand Slams and a bunch of other tournaments along the way. The confirmed sponsors for Djokovic include Asics, Head, Hublot, Lacoste, Lemero, NetJets, Peugeot, Raiffeisen Bank International, and Ultimate Software Group. With so many sponsors, Djokovic is going to continue to bring in high dollars even after he retires, whenever that might be.

Number 4: Serena Williams ($250 million)

Williams won as many majors as Djokovic, so the money rolled in for that. Some rich companies also sponsored Williams and most still do. The list includes AbbVie, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Audemars Piguet, Block Inc, DirecTV, Ford, Gatorade, Gucci, Hanesbrands, Nike, Subway, Tonal, Wilson Sporting Goods, among others.

Number 3: Roger Federer ($550 million)

The wealth really begins to jump up when we get to Federer (but just wait for the top two and Federer’s amount will pale in comparison). Some of the sponsors for Federer include Mercedes-Benz, Rolex, Wilson, NetJets, and Switzerland Tourism. Federer also seems like a saint of a person, so good for him in earning all that cash.

Number 2: Ion Tiriac ($2 billion)

Ion Tiriac is different from the previous three players mentioned as he never won a Grand Slam. He only won one singles title and his highest ranking was number 19, and after retiring from playing he coached and managed a bunch of players such as Boris Becker. So how did he earn so much money?

Tiriac is basically an extremely smart businessman. After the fall of Russian communism in Tiriac’s native Romania, he began to invest his money and founded the Tiriac Group. He also founded the first private bank in Romania and worked with all kinds of businesses, such as retail, insurance, and airlines, to find financing and he still earns a lot of money from those investments.

Number 1: Jessica Pegula ($6.7 billion)

Pegula is a good player, so let me get that out of the way first. She has ranked as high as number 2 on the WTA tour in singles, and she is currently ranked 3rd in singles and 4th in doubles. But she hasn’t played so well as to make $6.7 billion. So where does her money come from?

Pegula is basically an heiress to a family fortune. Her father, Terry, is an oil and gas baron and after making his money there he began buying up sports teams. The Pegula family owns the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres and the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. Pegula’s fortune is tied up in her family’s amount so that is why she appears to be worth more than the players ranked second through 11 on the wealthiest earnings list combined.

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