Forbes publishes its annual list of the top-earning athletes in the world and we have only three tennis players in the top 50.
Only one of those three, Roger Federer, is ranked in the top ten. It’s fascinating to notice that the highest-paid tennis player hasn’t participated in a single official match the whole year, demonstrating how significant a player’s brand is.
It’s even more apparent when the only other two ones in the top 50 are Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams, two players with an exceptional brand as well. The top earner was Lionel Messi who earned about 130 million in total.
Roger Federer, who made the most of his money outside the court and earned roughly 90 million in 2022, is ranked seventh. With a total income of roughly 59 million, of which only about a million came from her tennis career, Naomi Osaka came in at number 19 on the list. The remainder comes from her brand agreements.
The top 50 tennis players are rounded out by Serena Williams, whose career earnings totalled 45 million. That was largely the result of brand agreements as well. The fact that the top three all primarily made their money from brand deals demonstrates their star power.