Tennis is one of the most financially rewarding sports in the world. Tennis stars make vast amounts of money from tournaments and endorsements. Here, we will shed light on the wealthiest tennis players of all time. Who is the richest tennis player in the world? We’ll build up to that as we discuss the 30 richest tennis players ever. Spoiler alert, the name of the richest tennis player of all time might hit you as a surprise!
30 – Kei Nishikori ($24 million, Japan)
After the great Jiro Sato, only one Japanese player managed to break into the top 5 single rankings; Kei Nishikori. In 2014, he beat Novak Djokovic in the semifinal to reach the US Open final. In doing so, he became the first Asian to make it to a Grand Slam final. Unfortunately, his remarkable journey had a bitter end as he lost to Marin Čilić in the final. Nonetheless, Kei hits #30 on our richest tennis players list
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29 – Stefan Edberg ($25 million, Sweden)
Stefan Edberg came into the world of tennis with a bang! To date, the Swede is the only player who has won all four junior grand slams. He also boasts the honor of being one of the two male players in the Open Era to retain the top spot in doubles and singles rankings. He coached Roger Federer between 2014 and 2015.
28 – Martina Navratilova ($25 million, USA/Czech Republic)
Martina Navratilova enjoyed a legendary career before retiring her racket in 2006. She has 18 Grand Slam titles to her name, the last of which came in the 2006 US Open. She won the mixed doubles discipline of the tournament only a month before her 50th birthday. Overall, Navratilova has won 59 major titles throughout her illustrious career.
27 – Martina Hingis ($25 million, Switzerland)
Martina Hingis spent more than 200 weeks on top of the rankings during her playing days. Hingis is the first tennis player with a Swiss passport who ascended to the number one spot. She won the Wimbledon doubles as a 15-year-old. The feat made her the first Swiss to win a Grand Slam and the youngest player to win a Wimbledon title.
26 – Lleyton Hewitt ($25 million, Australia)
Before committing to tennis, Lleyton Hewitt tried to follow his father’s footsteps and become an Australian Rules Footballer. But, he changed his heart at age 13 and entered the world of tennis. Hewitt has two Grand Slam titles under his belt and has raked in more than $20 million in prize money.
25 – Agnieszka Radwańska ($25 million, Poland)
Agnieszka Radwańska is an immortal name in the history of Polish tennis. She is the first Pole to reach a Grand Slams final and win the WTA singles title. Qualifying for the 2012 Wimbledon singles final is the peak of her career. The former world number 2 received the Gold Cross of Merit, the most prestigious civilian award in Poland, for her incredible achievements in tennis.
24 – Svetlana Kuznetsova ($30 million, Russia)
Russia has blessed us with many top-class tennis players, and Svetlana Kuznetsova is one of them. Kuznetsova comes from a family with a rich athletic heritage. Her father is an Olympic and world champion cycling coach, and her mother holds 20 world records in cycling. But, she chose a different path choosing tennis and has won 18 titles, including two Grand Slams.
23 – Simona Halep ($30 million, Romania)
Simona Halep held the top spot in the world singles ranking for 64 weeks between 2017 and 2019. Halep also stayed in the top five for seven years between 2014 and 2021. In these seven years, she never dropped below fourth. She is the first Romanian to lift a Wimbledon trophy.
22 – Michael Chang ($30 million, USA)
Michael Chang emerged as a prodigy in the 1989 French Open. He won the tournament aged 17 and went on to win 33 more titles. But he never won another Grand Slams title again. Seven years after his French Open win, Cheng progressed to the US Open and Australian Open finals but couldn’t make it to the podium as a winner.
21 – Angelique Kerber ($30 million, Germany)
Angelique Kerber has conquered all surfaces while winning 13 career titles. Other than the French Open, Kerber has won all Grand Slam titles. Moreover, she won a silver medal for her country in the 2016 Rio Olympics. She became the number one player in 2016 at the age of 28. She is the oldest female tennis player to climb to the top of the rankings for the first time.
20 – Ivan Lendl ( $40 million, Czech Republic/USA)
Ivan Lendl retired as one of the highest-earning tennis players. Lendl has won 94 titles; only Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer have won more in the Open Era. Lendl was the No.1 player for a whopping 270 weeks during his active years. Lendl has revolutionized the modern game of tennis with a forehand-centric playing style.
19 – Björn Borg ($40 million, Sweden)
Björn Borg is not the richest tennis player globally, but he has significantly influenced the game. Borg was a pop culture during the 70s when the popularity of tennis was soaring. He has six French Open and five Wimbledon trophies on his trophy cabinet. He also capitalized on his star appeal and made millions through endorsements.
18 – Andy Roddick ($40 million, USA)
Andy Roddick won the US Open in 2003. As of writing, no American male tennis player has managed to win another single Grand Slams title. Roddick also surged into four other Grand Slam finals in subsequent years. But, he was left frustrated by Roger Federer each time. In 2017, he became an International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee.
17 – Monica Seles ($50 million, Yugoslavia/USA)
Monica Seles has won eight Grand Slam titles as a Yugoslavian. After the fall of Yugoslavia, she became a US Citizen and won the Australian Open. She fell victim to an unfortunate knife attack in 1993, which substantially hampered her career trajectory. Otherwise, Seles could have gone down in history with an even more impressive record.
16 – Caroline Wozniacki ($50 million, Denmark)
Caroline Wozniacki is the first Scandinavian woman to climb to the number one spot in the rankings. Hailed for impeccable footwork and defensive mastery, Wozniack has won 30 titles throughout her career. In 2010, she won six titles, the highest amount of trophies won in a single year ever. She replicated that feat in the following year.
15 – Anna Kournikova ($50 million, Russia)
Anna Kournikova has a lackluster record compared to the other contenders for the wealthiest tennis player crown. She didn’t win any singles titles in her career. Her success came in the doubles circuit, where she won 16 titles, including two Grand Slams partnering with Martina Hingis. She made most of her money from commercial deals and media appearances.
14 – Li Na ($60 million, China)
Li Na’s career had a short lifespan, but it was illustrious enough to grant her access to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Before retiring at the age of 32, Li Na won 9 singles tournaments. She was the first Asian woman to qualify for a Grand Slams final and the first to win one. Li Na became the French Open champion in 2011 and won the Australian Open in 2014. Her unprecedented success in tennis as an Asian female catapulted her commercial appeal.
13 – Venus Williams ($95 million, USA)
Venus Williams dominated the game both in singles and doubles. In 2000, she won the Wimbledon and the US Open. Venus also returned from Sydney with an Olympic gold medal the same year. Alongside her sister Serena, Venus Williams is recognized as a pioneering figure in modern tennis. Her list of honors includes 49 singles and 22 doubles.
12 – Naomi Osaka ($95 million, Japan/USA)
Naomi Osaka’s father tried to emulate Richard Williams’ approach to make her a future tennis superstar. Even though he lacked the tennis acumen Williams had, he succeeded. Naomi Osaka is now one of the most accomplished female tennis players currently plying their trade. She is also one of the most marketable athletes in the world making $57.3 million in prize money of late.
11 – John McEnroe ($100 million, USA)
With John McEnroe, we touch the $100 million net worth landmark. But, the former US No.1 has ten other players ahead of him in the richest tennis player list. McEnroe landed 77 singles titles and 78 doubles titles before retiring. The hot-headed tennis star also led his nation to five Davis Cup titles.
10 – Andy Murray ($100 million, UK)
Andy Murray posed one of the biggest challenges to Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer’s duopoly on the men’s game. He lifted the US Open trophy in 2012 and followed it up with a Wimbledon win in 2013. Murray recovered from his 2008 Beijing Olympic embarrassment with two back-to-back golds in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. His well-established presence on and off the court has cemented his place on the richest tennis players list.
9 – Steffi Graf ($145 million, Germany)
Steffi Graf is married to one of the richest male tennis players known to date, Andre Agassi. But she has an impressive net worth of her own. Graf gripped onto the WTA No.1 spot for 377 weeks, a record that stands to this day! Graf did not prolong her career beyond her 30th birthday. She had 118 career titles by then.
8 – Andre Agassi ($145 million, USA)
Andre Agassi is the only player in history to win a Career Super Slam. That means he won all four of the Grand Slams, the Olympic gold medal, and the ATP Finals. He coached Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic between 2017 and 2018. Agassi retired in 2006 after suffering from chronic sciatica.
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7 – Pete Sampras ($150 million, USA)
Nicknamed “Pistol Pete” for his incredibly powerful serves, Pete Sampras is one of the best male tennis players the US ever produced. Before Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer broke the record, Sampras had the highest number of Grand Slams in history. His 14-Grand Slams haul includes seven Wimbledon titles, five US Opens, and two Australian Opens.
6 – Maria Sharapova ($180 million, Russia)
Maria Sharapova was successful both on and off the pitch before the doping controversy in 2016. Even though she was cleared of the charge later, she couldn’t return to the peak of her career. Sharapova has won five Grand Slam titles. She is the first Russian to win a Grand Slams trophy. The ex-no. 1 has modeled for several top-tier fashion magazines and has lucrative endorsement deals with many companies.
5 – Rafael Nadal ($220 million, Spain)
The number five entry to the richest tennis players list is Rafael Nadal. Nadal now holds the record of winning the most Grand Slams in history. He has 21 Grand Slams, while his nearest competitors, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, have 20 each. Nadal has also been victorious in international tennis, having won five Davis Cups and two Olympic golds for Spain.
4 – Novak Djokovic ($220 million, Serbia)
Novak Djokovic rebranded the “Big Two” in male tennis as the “Big Three.” In 2008 he won the Australian Open. In the 11 Grand Slams that preceded, either Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer had won those. Now, Djokovic has become an equally dominant force in male tennis. He spent a record 369 weeks at the top of the rankings.
3 – Serena Williams ($250 million, USA)
Serena Williams is only one Grand Slam shy of matching Margaret Court’s 24 Grand Slam hauls record. Serena Williams is the richest tennis player in the women’s game. She is also the best-paid female athlete in the world. In 2015, Sports Illustrated named her the Sportsperson of the Year.
2 – Roger Federer ($550 million, Switzerland)
Roger Federer has proved his versatility across all court types to become one of the most successful tennis players ever. The 20-time Grand Slams winner is hugely popular among sponsors. In 2020 alone, he made $100 million from endorsements. With Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, Federer dominates men’s tennis.
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1 – Ion Tiriac ($1.2 billion, Romania)
The richest tennis player of all time is Ion Tiriac. He did not have a glorious tennis career. He has won 23 career titles, and 22 of those are doubles. His wealth mostly comes from his post-retirement business career. He has multiple investments across multiple industries, including automobile, real estate, and airlines.
If you didn’t know already, we bet Ion Tiriac was not the name on your mind when you started reading this piece. But, the Romanian is the richest tennis player ever to walk the Earth. With Nadal, Novak and Roger all reaching the end of their careers very soon, it’s very unlikely Ion will lose his throne in the coming years.