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Carlos Alcaraz leads with $45 million

Carlos Alcaraz leads with  million
Carlos Alcaraz leads with  million

 


Novak Djokovic has built a tennis career that stands head and shoulders above any other in the modern era, setting three tennis records: 24 Grand Slam singles titles, 428 weeks at No. 1 and $182.5 million in prize money.

But Djokovic has had to give up one crown: that of the world's highest-paid tennis player.

Carlos Alcaraz earned an estimated $45 million over the past 12 months, $6 million more than Djokovic ($38.7 million), which flips their ranking among the highest-earning athletes of 2023. The two tennis stars are a step above other stars in the sport in terms of income from prize money, endorsements and appearance fees. Rounding out the top five are Jannik Sinner ($25.7 million), Coco Gauff ($25.6 million) and Iga Świątek ($25.2 million).

Sinner, Djokovic and Alcaraz currently top the ATP rankings, and in reverse order also in the tennis financial hierarchy.

In June, Alcaraz won his third Grand Slam at the French Open, just a month after his 21st birthday, becoming the youngest man to win major championships on three surfaces, including his 2022 US Open title and 2023 Wimbledon titles. The $2.6 million payout moved him to ninth on the all-time career prize money list, with $31.5 million. He earned $15 million last year, including $4.4 million from the ATP bonus pool.

Alcaraz’s off-court game has only grown stronger as he has been tagged as a next-generation tennis star to fill the eventual void left by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic, with Alcaraz signing deals with LVMH, Rolex, BMW, Babolat, Calvin Klein and ISDIN sunscreen. The surge in interest in Alcaraz has carried over to his appearance fees, where he can command seven figures for a tournament or exhibition, including his Netflix faceoff against Nadal in March.

His most lucrative sponsor is Nike, which renewed its deal with Alcaraz in 2023 with a huge raise. Tennis apparel sponsorships are tiered with bonuses for tournament performance and year-end rankings, and Alcaraz will earn more than $10 million annually from Nike, based on his current results.

Djokovic has won 98 career events, including at least four in 15 different years, but the 37-year-old Serb is still searching for his first victory of 2024 – he has yet to reach a final. He has still earned $12.7 million in prize money over the past 12 months, $7 million of which came from his victories at the ATP Finals and US Open. As the only active member of the Big Three for much of the past year, Djokovic can also command lucrative appearance fees that add to his endorsement haul, with Lacoste leading the way as one of the richest apparel deals in the sport.

Gauff beat Świątek in 2023 to become the highest-paid female athlete. The 20-year-old still holds the top spot seven months later with two new deals in her sponsorship stable. She signed a multi-year deal with L’Oreal to pitch its natural hair care brand Carol’s Daughter and added juice brand Naked, where she was named CSO. The Naked deal includes an equity position, as Gauff looks to take more ownership positions in her partnerships.

New Balance remains her biggest deal. In 2022, the company revised Gauff’s contract to one of the biggest in the game with an extension that will last more than five years.

Świątek had the highest prize money in tennis – male or female – through the first six months of 2024, a figure boosted by her fourth French Open victory in five years. Still, she lost in the third round at Wimbledon, and her struggles continued at the All England Club, where she has made just one quarterfinal appearance. Still, the world’s top-ranked player has built a deep sponsorship roster that includes On, Tecnifibre, Oshee, Porsche, Visa, Infosys, Lego and Lancome.

Naomi Osaka ($16.5 million) and Nadal ($13.2 million) have played few matches in the past year, with Nadal hampered by injuries and Osaka returning to the WTA Tour in 2024 after giving birth to daughter Shai a year ago. The inactivity has cost them both Nike revenue, whose contracts are tied to rankings and tournament results. Prize money also took a hit, with a combined $752,000 for the year.

But the former Grand Slam champions retain lucrative deals beyond their apparel and racquet contracts. Nadal still works with Kia, Santander, Telefonica, Infosys, Cantabria Labs, Louis Vuitton, Playtonic and Richard Mille. This year, he became an ambassador for the Saudi Arabian Tennis Federation. Osaka’s brand partners include Louis Vuitton, TAG Heuer, Panasonic, Beats, Crate & Barrel, Hyperice, Morinaga and Bobbie baby food. She recently joined ZICO Coconut Water as an investor and brand ambassador.

In total, the 10 highest-paid tennis players earned $241 million, with 34% from prize money and 66% from sponsorships, bonuses and appearance fees. The earnings reflect those between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024, and the prize money component includes the ATP bonus pool. Sporty estimated off-court earnings through conversations with people familiar with tennis sponsorship deals. All figures are before taxes and any agency fees. Only active players were considered, eliminating retired legends Roger Federer and Serena Williams.

Like the sport as a whole, it is an international group with nine different countries and only Spain has two players, Alcaraz and Nadal, in the top 10. The players are also young, with Djokovic the only one in the top five over the age of 23. And unlike every other major professional sport, women are almost equally represented at 40% of the participants.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.sportico.com/personalities/athletes/2024/highest-paid-tennis-players-2024-carlos-alcaraz-novak-djokovic-1234787055/

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