Roger Federer becomes first tennis star to top list of highest-paid athletes

Key Points
  • Tennis superstar Roger Federer earned an estimated $106.3 million over the past 12 months, according to Forbes. 
  • Soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar were next in the rankings.
  • NBA stars LeBron James, Steph Curry and Kevin Durant came in after them.
Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates his victory in his fourth round match against Marton Fucsovics of Hungary on day seven of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.
TPN | Getty Images

Tennis star Roger Federer is now the world's highest-paid athlete, according to Forbes.

The publication released its annual "World's 100 Highest-Paid Athletes" for 2020, which shows Federer ranked first with an estimated $106.3 million in total earnings over the last year. Federer's ranking marks the time that a tennis player has led the list since it commenced in 1990.

Forbes determines the rankings calculating athletes' revenue, including prize money, salaries, contract bonuses, endorsements, royalties, and appearance fees from June 1, 2019, until June 1, 2020.

Forbes' senior editor Kurt Badenhausen called Federer the "perfect pitchman for companies,"

The magazine estimated the 100 highest-paid athletes earned $3.6 billion during the past year, a drop of 9% from the previous year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

Filling the next three top spots on the list are international soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo with $105 million in earnings, Lionel Messi ($104 million) and Neymar ($95.5 million).

NBA basketball stars were next in the rankings, including Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James ($88.2 million), Golden State Warriors all-star Stephen Curry ($74.4 million), Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant ($63.9 million).

Rounding out the top ten were PGA Tour star Tiger Woods ($62.3 million), Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins ($60.5 million) and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz ($59.1 million).

Tennis star Naomi Osaka, who became the highest-paid female athlete, ranks 29th on the list with earnings of $37.4 million, while Serena Williams ($36 million) ranks 33rd. Osaka and Williams are the only two women featured on this year's list.

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