Tennis legend Roger Federer is the world’s highest-paid athlete for 2020 according to the annual Forbes list released on Friday. The Swiss maestro earned a whopping amount of $106.3 million over the past 12 months, making him the first Tennis player to top the coveted list of world’s 100 highest-paid athletes. Federer knocked off Argentina captain Lionel Messi from the top spot as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in the sporting calendar. Also Read - Sania Mirza, Naomi Osaka to be Part of Five-day Virtual Summer Festival
Soccer players Cristiano Ronaldo ($105 million), Messi ($104 million) and Neymar ($95.5 million) and America’s NBA stalwart LeBron James ($88.2 million) rounded out the top five. The 38-year-old Federer earned a major share $100 million via endorsements, to move up four places and become the first player from his sport to claim the number one position. Also Read - Sassuolo vs Juventus: Serie A Leaders go Seven Points Clear After Thrilling 3-3 Draw
The factors that went into Forbes’ calculation were athletes’ revenue, including prize money, salaries, contract bonuses, endorsements, royalties, and appearance fees from June 1, 2019, until June 1, 2020. Also Read - SAS vs JUV Dream11 Team Prediction Serie A 2019-20: Captain, Vice-captain And Fantasy Tips For Sassuolo vs Juventus Today's Football Match at 12:45 AM IST July 16 Thursday Cristiano Ronaldo CR7
A key factor that went into Federer edging out the football stars was that the latter had to take heavy salary cuts during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The coronavirus pandemic triggered salary cuts for soccer stars Messi and Ronaldo, clearing the way for a tennis player to rank as the world’s highest-paid athlete for the first time,” said Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor at Forbes.
“Roger Federer is the perfect pitchman for companies, resulting in an unparalleled endorsement portfolio of blue-chip brands worth $100 million a year for the tennis great.”
Athletes from 10 sports and 21 different countries made the list this year but only two women made the cut — still the highest representation of female athletes since 2016.
Japan’s Naomi Osaka ($37.4 million), who was ranked 29th on the list, surpassed fellow tennis player Serena Williams ($36 million) as the world’s highest-earning female athlete. The 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams claims the 33rd spot.
Meanwhile, the 22-year-old Osaka amassed her pre-tax total through a combination of prize money and endorsements, raking in $1.4 million more than Williams.
NBA stars Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors was sixth on $74.4 million and former teammate Kevin Durant next on $63.9 million.
Legendary golfer and reigning Masters champion – Tiger Woods was eighth on the list and tops among golfers at $62.3 million He earned $2.3 million from sponsor deals.
The 15-time major winner Woods topped the Forbes list a record 12 times before an infidelity scandal helped end his run.