The 2015 tennis season has been fascinating to follow for diehard fans of the sport. It has included what could be referred to as a rebirth for one of the best players of his generation, a man believed back in January to be in the twilight of his career who has once again risen toward the top of the world rankings. At the other end of the spectrum has been a rival of that great player who has surprisingly fallen into poor runs of form throughout the summer months of the year. There are even some analysts and fans out there wondering if that special talent may now be a shell of his former self.
Not all that shocking to even casual fans of the sport, the women’s game continued to be dominated by one of the greatest professional female players the world has ever seen. That once-in-a-generation player has been compared to Ultimate Fighting Championship Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey because of how both of those incredible athletes have been so much better than any other competitors in their sports. With that said, it is a different athlete who currently stands as the highest paid female tennis player in the world today according to a story that was published by Forbes in late August of 2015.
At the top of the list of the highest paid tennis players for 2015 are the men who are currently regarded as the best overall players in the business today. One is looking to reclaim his throne as the world’s No. 1 player for what may be the last time until he rides off into the sunset. The other is the newest king of men’s tennis, a 28-year-old who is netting millions of dollars in winnings and also from endorsement deals that he has picked up because of his impressive play on the court. He could, sooner than later, find himself atop such lists if he continues to win Grand Slam tournaments over the next couple of years.
10. Ana Ivanovic: $8.3 Million Total Earnings
The summer of 2015 was rather unkind to the woman who finished at No. 5 in the world rankings, as she was upset in the first round of the US Open. That blow should be softened by the fact that Ana Ivanovic raked in a total of $8.3 million in earnings. Along with the $1.8 million that Ivanovic took home in prize money, she picked up over $6 million in endorsement cash. The beautiful Ivanovic has served as a model on multiple occasions, and she has deals with companies such as Shiseido and Dubai Duty Free.
9. Stan Wawrinka: $11.1 Million Total Earnings
Stan Wawrinka made quite a name for himself with some of the fashion decisions that he showcased during the 2015 French Open. While that was a smart bit of self-promotion, do not at all think that Wawrinka is merely a pair of shorts out there during competitions. Wawrinka won more than $3 million in prize money over the past year, and he has Grand Slam victories in each of the past two seasons. Have you become a fan of Wawrinka because of his wins and/or because of the clothing items he has sported during tournaments? You can show your support by purchasing the Yonex items that Wawrinka has displayed during events such as the French Open.
8. Caroline Wozniacki: $14.6 Million Total Earnings
The 25-year-old has found herself in international headlines over the past couple of years for reasons that have nothing to do with her play on the court on multiple occasions. Her breakup with professional golfer Rory McIlroy was one that was covered by tabloid media outlets and also by companies such as ESPN. Caroline Wozniacki appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and she raised money for charity by running in the New York City Marathon. Wozniacki also took home $3.6 million in prize money and an additional $11 million off of endorsements.
7. Kei Nishikori: $4.5 Million Total Earnings
Kei Nishikori is a name that those who are interested in the business end of the sports world will want to remember for the foreseeable future. Forbes listed Nishikori as being among the highest paid pro athletes 25 years old and under. SportsProMedia has Nishikori has being eighth on the list of the most marketable athletes in the world for 2015. Nishikori is the first and, as of the posting of this piece, the only Japanese player to ever be in the top-ten of the world tennis rankings, and that success has helped him pick up 14 sponsors. He endorsements are reportedly worth $15 million in earnings.
6. Andy Murray: $22.3 Million Total Earnings
Andy Murray had to know back in 2013 that he was cashing a golden ticket after he became the first British male player since 1936 to win the Wimbledon title. That is exactly what happened, as Murray took home what was reported to be $16 million worth of endorsement cash over the past year. Making money had not been a problem for Murray over his career even before he won the All-England title. He is, according to Forbes, fifth on the all-time list for prize money earnings ($40 million). At just 28 years old, Murray should still have plenty of time left to climb up that list.
5. Serena Williams: $24.6 Million Total Earnings
It has become a foregone conclusion that Serena Williams is going to win Grand Slam events. That is how special of a player she has been over the past few years. No woman is even close to matching the career winnings ($73 million) Williams has earned during her historic career, and she is widely considered as one of the greatest female pro athletes in history. There will come a time when the 33-year-old will begin slowing down and when another will take her place atop the mountain of women’s tennis. Enjoy watching Williams for now, though, because she is unrivaled on the court.
4. Maria Sharapova: $29.7 Million Total Earnings
The summer of 2015 ended early for Maria Sharapova when she was forced to pull out of the US Open because of an injury. It is the second time in three seasons that she has not been able to participate in that tournaments, but her not taking the court in Queens, New York does not mean that fans will not see her all over television. Her marketability coupled with smart business sense has helped Sharapova bring in $23 million in endorsement money over the past year, and she has inked massive deals with the likes of Nike, Avon, Porsche and others. Sharapova has, according to Forbes, been the world’s highest paid female athlete for the past 11 years.
3. Rafael Nadal: $32.5 Million Total Earnings
Anybody, even one of the great talents of his generation, can go through a difficult patch, and Rafael Nadal will be hoping that is what has occurred throughout 2015 and that he is not going through a decline that represents the beginning of the end of what has been a remarkable career. Along with the millions of dollars in prize money that Nadal has earned over the years, he has also cashed in on a small fortune via endorsements. Nadal was featured on Tommy Hilfiger television commercials that featured the tennis star dropping articles of clothing leading up to the US Open, and he was also part of a “strip tennis” match in New York, one sponsored by Tommy Hilfiger, that preceded the end-of-summer Grand Slam.
2. Novak Djokovic: $48.2 Million Total Earnings
He may not be as beloved as the men who are at the No. 3 and No. 1 spots on this list, but Novak Djokovic is recognized as the world’s best tennis player as of September 1, 2015. Djokovic has, according to Forbes, earned $63 million in prize money since the 2011 season, and the website claims that Djokovic is now second on the all-time prize money list. It has been rumored that Djokovic and the man who is atop of this list have been in a feud, claims that have been denied by the other player supposedly involved in that spat.
1. Roger Federer: $67 Million Total Earnings
The all-time tennis great silenced critics by climbing back up to the No. 2 spot in the world rankings in 2015. Roger Federer also continued to out-perform all other athletes as it pertains to endorsements. Federer is above famous men such as tennis rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, LeBron James and Tiger Woods on the list of athletes with the highest endorsement earnings for 2015. His bank accounts have also been filled with what Forbes claims to be $93 million in prize money that Federer has accumulated during his career. Nike, Mercedes-Benz and Rolex are just three companies that have happily done business with Federer in the past.