Tennis Riches

Tennis Riches

The Top 10 Tennis Earners of All Time


Making it big in tennis is no easy feat, however once you make it to the top there is a lot of money up for grabs. The prize money at tournaments is constantly on the rise owing to continuous increase in the cost of living. To give you some perspective, The Australian Open 2002 total prize money pool was 16.5 million AUD, whereas the Australian Open 2020 total prize money pool was 71 million AUD.  Although, bear in mind that tennis players do have a lot of expenses in terms of travel costs, coaches, family member travel costs and at times accommodation costs as well which justifies the huge sum of money they receive when they win a tournament or even make it to the final rounds. To add to this, the number of sacrifices that tennis players make and the hard work that has been put in to reach the top makes them deserving of every single penny that they pocket.

Endorsements is another reason why players at the absolute top earn a ridiculous amount of money. Almost every top 5 men’s and women’s tennis players earn more money through endorsement contracts than prize money. However, such lucrative endorsement deals are only there for the absolute top players. Putting endorsement deals aside, let’s see the top ten tennis earners of all time in terms of prize money.

#10 Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki was a household name in tennis during the late 2000s and 2010s and it is not surprise to see her here on this list. She is a former world number 1, Australian Open Grand Slam champion and netted a total of 26.6 Million Pounds in prize money throughout her career. She is likely to be dethroned of 10th place due to the ever-increasing prize money and the fact that she retired from professional tennis last year.

#9 Simona Halep

One of the powerhouses of women’s tennis since 2014, Simona Halep needs no introduction. She is a two-time grand slam champion and has numerous WTA titles through which she has earned most of her prize money. She has netted a total of 27.8 Million Pounds in prize money and considering she is not going to retire anytime soon; she is well on her way to earn a lot more and work her way higher up this list.

#8 Maria Sharapova

Russian Maria Sharapova earned her first big payday when she won the 2004 Wimbledon singles crown aged just 17. Ever since then she has won numerous WTA titles and is one of the most marketable female tennis players of all time. In terms of prize money, she netted a total of 30.4 Million Pounds in her career, which is a fraction of her actual income owing to huge endorsement deals and business ventures.

#7 Venus Williams

The longest serving tennis player on this list makes it to seventh place. Venus Williams made her debut back in 1997 and is still playing professional tennis 24 years later, thereby making it no surprise seeing her name on this list. She has won numerous Grand Slam and WTA titles during her decorated career and has earned a total of 31 Million Pounds in prize money, just about giving her the edge over Sharapova. She may just have a few tournaments left in her before she calls it quits for good.  

#6 Pete Sampras

If you watched tennis in the 1990s, then there is a big chance that you saw this man, Pete Sampras, dominate at so many tournaments. He is the only player to feature on this list whose earnings primarily came in the 1990s which further highlights his achievements as a tennis player. He received a total of 32.7 Million Pounds in his illustrious career.

#5 Andy Murray

It’s no shock to see the Brit Andy Murray on this list. Prior to his hip injury, he was arguably the only player to give the big three any real competition in terms of winning Masters 1000 titles and Grand Slams. He has won a total of 46 titles in his career, which is a remarkable achievement owing to how competitive men’s tennis has been over the last 15 years or so. He has pocketed an enormous total of 46.4 Million Pounds in prize money so far and is not done just yet.

#4 Serena Williams

The highest female earner ever in tennis by a country mile is none other than Serena Williams. She is arguably the greatest ever women’s tennis player of all time and has won 23 Grand Slam Titles – just one shy of Margaret Court’s record of 24. She is still playing at the highest level and may end up levelling the number of titles with Margaret Court. She has earned a whopping 70 Million Pounds in her career in terms of prize money so far which is more than double of the second highest female earner!

#3 Rafael Nadal

The king of Clay, 20 grand slams titles and one of the most decorated tennis players of all time, Rafael Nadal comes in third place on this list. No surprise to see him on this list, owing to his ridiculous accomplishments throughout his career. He is by far the best ever player to step foot on a clay court and it his highly unlikely to see any other player ever come close to his achievements on that surface. He has netted a total of 92 Million Pounds in prize money and judging by how he has been going he looks all set to crack the 100 Million mark soon.

#2 Roger Federer

The most popular man to ever hold a tennis racquet, the one and only Swiss sensation Roger Federer comes in second place. This may be a huge surprise as many of you would have thought he would be the highest earner of all time, however he won most of his Grand Slam titles in the 2000s and early 2010s when the prize money was not as lucrative as it is now. Nevertheless, he has earned an astonishing 98 Million Pounds in prize money so far in his career and is not done yet!

#1 Novak Djokovic

It is no surprise to see Novak Djokovic on this list, however it may surprise a few that he is number one on this list. This is largely due to the fact that he has won most of his majors in the 2010s era along with numerous masters 1000 titles where the prize money pool is always on the rise. He has more than 80 titles to further add to his achievements. He has netted a total of 108 Million Pounds in prize money and considering he is still at the top of his game, it is honestly quite scary to see how much he may end up with when he retires!

Australian Open Rod Laver Arena
  1. The Australian Open holds the record for the highest attendance of any tennis tournament ever staged with 812,174 people attending the 2020 edition
  2. The AO has been staged twice in New Zealand – 1906 & 1912
  3. Novak Djokovic holds the record for the most Men’s Singles titles with 7 wins
  4. Margaret Court holds the record for the most Women’s Singles Titles with 11 wins
  5. The Australian Open was the last of the four majors opened to professionals in 1969
  6. Out of the four Grand Slams, Melbourne Park (Australian Open Venue) is the only venue to have three stadium courts covered by a retractable roof
  7. The Australian Open holds the record for the latest ever match conclusion with the Lleyton Hewitt vs Marcos Baghdatis match in 2008 concluding at 4:33am
  8. The first Australian Open in 1905 was played on a cricket ground which is today known as Albert Reserve Tennis Centre
  9. After winning both his Australian Open Singles titles Jim Courier jumped into the Yarra River for a swim
  10. Ken Rosewall is the youngest and oldest winner of the Men’s Singles title
  11. Martina Hingis is the youngest winner of the Women’s Singles Title at the age of 16
  12. The Australian Open was a Grass Court Event until 1988
  13. Every year the ball kids who work at the AO are made up of a small contingent of overseas ball kids – 20 from Korea, 6 from China, 10 from India and 2 from France
  14. Over 100 Press Conferences take place over the two weeks of the AO
  15. The Australian Open is shown live in more than 220 Countries and Territories around the world
  16. The Australian Open stringers restring over 5000 racquets throughout the tournament using more than 60km’s of string
  17. The highest single-day attendance at the Australian Open is 93,709 at the 2020 edition
  18. Over 700 Journalists and Photographers cover the Australian Open
  19. Close to 50,000 Tennis Balls are used during the tournament
  20. Since 1905 the Australian Open has been staged in January, March, August and December with the Ja middle of January start time being in place since 1977
  21. Kia is the longest-running sponsor of the Australian Open beginning it’s deal in 2002 with the current deal set to expire in 2023
  22. The revenue generated from the Australian Open is over $330million
  23. The last Australian female to win the Women’s Singles Title at the Australian Open was Christine O’Neil in 1978
  24. The last Australian male to win the Men’s Singles Title at the Australian Open was Mark Edmonson in 1976
  25. From 1905 – 1968 the tournament was called The Australasian Championships and it became known as the Australian Open in 1969
Australian Open Women's Singles Ash Barty

Tennis is played in 211 countries around the world so you can imagine there would be some pretty amazing destinations to go and watch the world’s best players fight it out! Here are 10 Tournaments from around the world that you’d be more than happy to spend your hard-earned getting to……

1. Wimbledon

This one is a no-brainer! The history, the prestige, the surface all make Wimbledon the not-to-be-missed tournament. The atmosphere in the grounds is like nothing else with all the courts being so close together, the roar from Henman Hill or Murray mound (depending on which generation you’re from) when one of the many Brit players is playing is something to behold and even Centre Court has this feeling like you’re stepping into a revered church or palace. The tennis is much faster paced due to the surface not being as conducive to long rallies but is nonetheless exciting! Make sure you get to sample the Strawberries and Cream and a glass or two of Pims and you’ve had the true Wimbledon experience!


2. Monte Carlo Masters

In the lead up to the French Open, there are a number of lead up tournaments for players to get accustomed to the red dirt. The one all the men want to win is the Monte Carlo Masters. Set in one of the most beautiful parts of the world the tournament has over 120 years of history and its courts look out onto the Mediterranean Sea! Rafa Nadal seems to like the courts very much – he’s taken home the title a record 11 times!


3. Palermo Ladies Open

If you’re looking for a picturesque venue to watch high-level women’s tennis then you can’t go past the Palermo Ladies Open held at the Country Time Club in Palermo each August. The courts are set at the foot of the mountains in Palermo and not far from the shores of the mediterranean sea. The courts have the look and feel of a local club which allows the spectators to get up close to the action. The tournament is played on European Clay meaning the rallies are long and super competitive!


4. US Open

All tennis tournaments create their own level of excitement and fever pitch but there is something about the US Open held at Flushing Meadows which sets it apart from the rest. Maybe it’s the humidity at the back end of the American Summer, maybe it’s the sun beating off the acrylic surface or maybe it’s just that the American crowd love to party even at major sporting events. Whatever it is, the players arrive at the end of August each year to determine the last Grand Slam champion for that year. At Wimbledon you’d expect crowds to be courteous, respectful and polite, the US Open, not quite as much but at the same time, what a great contrast!! If you can, try and get a seat on Arthur Ashe Stadium – the biggest stadium court in the world. Just be careful to not book seats in the top tier otherwise you might need your binoculars.


5. Paris Masters 1000

Like all tournaments that have made this top ten list, the Paris Masters 1000 has a unique point of difference – it’s the only Masters 1000 event to be played indoors! What this means is that you will get the best 64 players on the ATP Tour battling out with some seriously fast-paced tennis. As you can imagine, indoor courts historically play faster due to the fact the players are dealing with none of the usual elements (wind, sun, rain) that they experience outdoors. This all equates to shorter points and often a lot more net play. The quality of tennis is guaranteed to be of the highest order, there’s no chance of getting rained out or suffering in the sun and lastly, the event is held in Paris, and who doesn’t like spending time in one of the most beautiful cities in the world!


6. French Open

Sticking with the French theme you definitely cannot miss attending the French Open at least once in your life. The red clay of Roland Garros makes for some insanely competitive points and the length of rallies can seem to go on for days! Taking out the title is a true test of resilience and perseverance over the two weeks. The crowd at Roland Garros are like no other – unsurprisingly they’ll back their French comrades to the hilt but that’s not to say they won’t support one of the foreign invaders trying to take their crown. Over the years, Steffi Graf, Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and Jim Courier have all been huge fan favourites in the French capital! No player has come close to Rafa though when it comes to winning the French Open – the Spanish bull has taken the trophy home an astonishing 12 times! On the women’s side, Chris Evert has won the title an amazing 7 times!


7. Laver Cup (rotating venue each year)

The Laver Cup concept has only been with us since its inception in 2017 but it’s proved such a huge success that it has become a MUST on any list! The format is simple – think Ryder Cup of Tennis. Team Europe vs Team World. 6 players on each team and they are selected based on their World Ranking. Matches are played over 3 days with 9 Singles and 3 Doubles matches deciding the winning team. The coolest part about this tournament is you get to see great rivals actually teaming together in doubles matches and giving each other courtside instruction at the change of ends. Team Europe have taken out the event all three times but when you’ve got Roger, Rafa and Novak on one team do you expect any other result?!?! As the tournament moves venue from year to year, check the Laver Cup website where the next one is should you want to attend!

8. BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells

Commonly referred to as the 5th Slam, the Indian Wells Tournament consistently draws huge crowds (over 400,000 in 2020) year in year out to its stunning venue. Set in the amazing tourist destination of Palm Springs in California the tournament attracts all the world’s best players to fight it out for the title of Indian Wells champion. From a spectators point of view, Palm Springs has everything you want if you want to combine the tennis with a relaxing March Holiday – amazing weather, luxury resorts, high-end dining and shopping options, spas and world-class golf facilities.


9. Rome Masters/Italian Open

The Rome Masters (Men’s Tournament)/Italian Open (Women’s Tournament) is one of the key Clay Court warm-up events for the French Open and has been staged each year since 1930. Much like the French Open, the crowd creates an amazing atmosphere and if you can get in the stands for a match featuring one of the local Italian players you’ll be in for a treat! Outside of the hotly contested matches out on court, you’ll be able to sample some of Rome’s finest food, amazing shopping options and world-class musical performances. Similar to Monte Carlo, Rafa Nadal has a particular liking for this tournament taking out the title 7 times and Chris Evert taking home the Women’s Title 5 times.


10. Australian Open

I’ve saved the best for last! The Happy Slam as it’s commonly referred to and also the Grand Slam of Asia/Pacific. The Australian Open consistently prides itself on being the Slam made for the fans.
The grounds are spacious (helps to fit the average 58,000 people per day), there is something for all ages with an amazing Kids Club for 5 -12 year olds, countless eateries displaying Melbourne’s abundant food scene, world-class live entertainment showcasing some of the best international and local artists performing on a live stage through the two weeks and of course, we can’t forget the World Class Tennis the first Slam of the year brings. Year after year the tournament improves from a fans perspective through the development of new stadiums, entertainment areas and improved transportation options. The added bonus of the Australian Open is that it is staged right in the heart of the city and is a mere 5-minute tram journey from Flinders St train station. This allows all fans the option to explore one of the most liveable cities in the world combined with viewing world-class tennis!