Tennis is one of the highest paid sports, and one of the costliest for those who aren’t backed by big sponsors—the average tennis lesson in the US is somewhere around $40/hour, while players willing to participate in international tournaments usually have to cover their own travel, gear, training facilities, coach, agent and transportation expenses, which can add up to $200,000 a year! Those who are talented and lucky enough to become the elite can earn millions in exchange for so many years of hard training and economic investment. These are the ten richest current and ex professional tennis players in the world. Take a look!
Number Ten: Andy Murray
The Scottish player, ATP’s No. 2 of the world as of today, started his professional career in Barcelona’s renowned Sánchez-Casal Academy at 15 years old, and has been unstoppable ever since. Murray has won 11 ATP Masters 1000, two Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal. He has earned over $20 million in prize money alone since he started competing, and has made a fortune from different sponsorships, including Adidas’ five-year collaboration, for which he received $21.5877 million. The player is now training for Monte Carlo’s Open, which will take place in April. Net worth: $70 million.
Number Nine: Venus Williams
Former world No. 2 Venus Williams, who has won seven single Grand Slam titles throughout her remarkable career, is often regarded as one WTA’s best players ever. In 2002, she made history as the first black woman to ever top WTA’s ranking. Venus still remains a top tennis player, although often overshadowed by her sister, Serena. Her endorsement partnerships, which include Ralph Lauren, Wilson and Tide, in addition to her clothing line, Eleven, have left her with an impressive net worth of about $75 million.
Number Eight: Rafael Nadal
The King of Clay’s meteoric rise began in 2001, when he officially became a pro player. In the past 15 years, Nadal has won 14 Grand Slams, 27 ATP World Tour Master 1000s, and an Olympic gold medal. The Spanish player, famous for his aggressive playing style and speedy footwork, remained unbeatable for a long time, until a series of injuries slowed him down. Despite having made a fortune out of prize money and premium endorsements, Nadal is one of the most humble athletes out there. Additionally, Rafa runs his own charitable organization, which focuses on social and educational work for underprivileged children internationally. Net worth: $120 million.
Number Seven: Maria Sharapova
It’s not a good time for Sharapova, who recently confessed to having failed a drug test and, consequently, having lost her $70 million sponsorship deal with Nike. However, the Russian champ still remains the highest paid female tennis player in the world, and the fourth professional player after Nadal, Djokovic and Federer. Having won 35 singles titles and five Grand Slasms, along with her parallel modeling career, Sharapova has amassed quite a fortune throughout her 15-year athletic career: $125 million.
Number Six: Serena Williams
Serena Williams is, without a doubt, one of the best female players in tennis history and an authentic force of nature. She holds the record for the most number of single and double wins among active WTA players and she is the only one, along with her sister Venus, to win four Olympic golds. Williams has been a professional player since 1995, and still remains the best tennis player of her generation. The athlete has ventured into several off-court activities as well, which include various beauty and apparel lines, different appearances in the media industry, business investments and charitable work. Net worth: $140 million.
Number Five: Novak Djokovic
Djokovic is the class clown in the tennis sphere. He could be hospitalized about to get open heart surgery and he would still crack a joke—that’s why people love him. At this very moment, he is ATP’s No. 1 ranked player, a spot he has occupied for 191 weeks. The Serbian player has broken a few records, including being the only athlete to ever play the finals at all nine masters tournaments, the only one to ever win eight out of all nine masters in a single year, as well as the most number of consecutive Masters 1000 matches played (31). Novak currently has a 10-year allegiance deal with sportswear brand Sergio Tacchini. Net worth: $140 million.
Number Four: Pete Sampras
Greek-American pro athlete Pete Sampras retired in 2002, after a highly succesful 15-year career, during which he won 14 Grand Slam titles (including seven Wimbledon, four of which he won on consecutive years). Even though it’s been a while since he last engaged into professional matches, he still often participates in exhibition tournaments all over the world. Net worth: $150 million.
Number Three: Andre Agassi
Agassi dominated the tennis scene during the ‘90s and early ‘00s. In fact, tennis experts and journalists claim he actually brought tennis back from the dead due to his intense performance on court, along with his eccentric looks and charismatic attitude. Agassi retired from professional tennis in 2006 due to health issues. Until that day, the Las Vegas citizen had made $30 million in prize-money and over $25 million a year through endorsements. Agassi has participated in many charity tournaments ever since. Net worth: $175 million.
Number Two: Roger Federer
An international panel of tennis experts determined that Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time. His main current rival and ATP’s No. 1, Novak Djokovic, comes 40th on the list! Federer has been charming audiences ever since he started playing professionally in 1998. Not only is he the most versatile player alive, he is also the most elegant and gracious on court—seeing him play is like watching the Russian Ballet. The Swiss athlete holds the record for the most prize money ever won ($90 million), as well as the most number of weeks as ATP’s No. 1—302 (four consecutive years, and almost six in total!). Net worth: $320 million.
Number One: Ion Tiriac
The ex-professional Romanian hockey and tennis player, and current enterprise owner, is definitely not one of the most notorious players to bless the tennis courts, but he was good enough, and he knew exactly how to use his prize money. Tiriac started investing on several Romanian businesses upon retiring from sports, only to end up owning his very own ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament—Spain’s Mutua Madrid Open. Tiriac, who owns a high end car museum, along with an extensive portfolio of real estate properties, is the wealthiest man in Romania. Net worth: $1 billion. Thanks for reading!