Top-ranked tennis stars Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are facing off, yet again, at the US Open (the “Grapple in the Apple” as Nike’s calling it), but Federer has already beat Nadal in endorsement earnings, according to Forbes.
Global appeal and a wealthy fan base has helped Federer pull in more money than more famous athletes like Derek Jeter and Peyton Manning.
Forbes: Roger Federer had been the top-ranked tennis player in the world for a record 237 consecutive weeks–until this week, when he finally relinquished the top spot to Spain’s Rafael Nadal.
But when it comes to the biggest bank account, Federer is still top dog–by a long shot. His earnings over the past 12 months were $35 million, almost twice the take of Nadal, who earned an estimated $18 million.
The Swiss maestro won $9 million in prize money over the past year and booked another $26 million through appearance fees and from sponsorship deals with the likes of Gillette, Mercedes-Benz and Wilson. His biggest payday comes from Nike, which re-signed the defending U.S. Open champion earlier this year to a 10-year contract that could potentially be the largest in tennis history, if certain playing incentives are met…
Sandwiched between Federer and third-ranked Nadal is Maria Sharapova, the world’s highest-paid female athlete with earnings of $26 million. Sharapova burst onto the scene in 2004 when she won Wimbledon at 17 years old. Nike and racket maker Prince were already aligned with the leggy Russian.
Tied for fourth on our list are a trio of Americans at $15 million: Andy Roddick and the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena.
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