Federer makes more history, becomes first tennis player to top Forbes’ list

andrewhendrie in News 01 Jun 2020
Federer Forbes
Roger Federer (Photo: Sydney Low/Cal Sport Media/Sipa USA)

Swiss legend Roger Federer has become the first tennis player to rank No. 1 in the Forbes’ list of world’s highest-paid athletes.

Federer eclipsed football superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the Forbes top spot, earning a total of $106.3 million dollars over the past year.


The 20-time major champion earned $6.3 million in prize money and $100 million in endorsements to edge out Ronaldo and Messi, who had traded the No. 1 position over the last four years.

According to Forbes, Federer, 38, joins Tiger Woods as the only active athletes to tally $100 million in a single year from sponsorships alone.

With rivals Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal coming in at No. 23 and No. 27 respectively, Federer is the only tennis player to rank in the top 20.

Naomi Osaka, the highest female earner in history, is ranked No. 29 and was the first female athlete on the list, while Serena Williams was No. 33 and Kei Nishikori No. 40.

After splitting with Nike in 2018, Federer signed a lucrative deal with Uniqlo, earning $30 million per year.

Federer has since entered the shoe market in his native Switzerland, with his investment set to pay ‘serious’ dividends.

According to Forbes:

“His latest partnership is with Swiss startup running shoe, On, whose headquarters sit close to the tennis star’s new home he’s building on Lake Zurich.

“A renowned sneakerhead, Federer will endorse the brand, whose sales have been doubling annually since its 2010 launch and also invested in the company in return for an equity stake that one source called “significant,” a partnership that could have serious upside for Federer.”

Check out the full top 100 list of Forbes’ highest-paid athletes here.