Money

Rafael Nadal made $31.5 million last year—here's how much the ballkids working for him get paid

Tennis legend Rafael Nadal with the ballkids at Roland Garros in 2013
Matthew Ashton | Getty Images
Tennis legend Rafael Nadal with the ballkids at Roland Garros in 2013

After a four-set win on Thursday night, No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal will face Leonardo Mayer in the third round of the 2017 U.S. Open Tennis Championships today.

The 15-time Grand Slam champion, who earned an estimated $31.5 million last year — $5.5 million in prize money and $26 million from off-court appearances and endorsements — is looking to collect a third U.S. Open title.

The trophy would come with a sizable check: $3.7 million, which is the most lucrative payout in tennis history.

Nadal and Mayer won't be the only ones on court Saturday: The ballkids, who tried out for the job in June, are responsible for chasing down netted forehands, rolling balls quickly to the server's side of the court and repeatedly running towels to the players, among other miscellaneous tasks.

Ball kids dry the court at the 2017 US Open
TIMOTHY A. CLARY | Getty Images
Ball kids dry the court at the 2017 US Open

After landing the position, the 275 ballkids had a full day of training in August. This year, there are 92 rookies; the rest are veterans. During the tournament, they're formed into teams of six and rotate on-court shifts, which last about two hours.

While most ballperson positions are completely voluntary, those working the U.S. Open are paid an hourly wage of about $11.

Not bad, considering it's more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and they get to keep the official Ralph Lauren gear, which, in some cases, is worth more than their total paycheck.

Plus, without a doubt, the ballkids get the best seats in the house while on the job.

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