Brand deals in sports increase in value year-on-year, and winnings and wage packets constantly rise as broadcast agreements become more and more lucrative.

Tennis is a huge global sport, boasting several iconic stars that are well-known across the world in general, not just by avid fans of the sport. But who is the highest earner of all the professional tennis stars that are active at present, and how does their total income compare to stars from other massive sports?

Novak Djokovic

For a long time, Roger Federer was Tennis’ highest-paid player by far, and for some periods during his career, he was even the top-earning sports star in general.

However, the Swiss retired last year, and in 2023 Novak Djokovic’s earnings make him the new highest earner in the sport.
Djokovic’s financial status is no surprise considering he has already wrapped up two Grand Slam titles this year. Another Grand Slam could follow in the United States. In the 2023 US Open odds, Djokovic is the 4/6 favourite to secure a fourth triumph in the United States Grand Slam. The tennis betting tips suggest that Daniil Medvedev could potentially be a hurdle to his success.

Being the most successful tennis player of the year of course provides much more than tournament prize winnings. According to Forbes, Djokovic earned £30.5 million in a 12-month period between 2022 and 2023. Around £10.6 million was earned directly for his on-court performances and £19.9 million was received from brand endorsements.

Djokovic has certainly made himself extremely wealthy due to his remarkable abilities with a racquet. But where does he stand in terms of his annual earnings when compared to the biggest individuals in other popular sports?

Cristiano Ronaldo

While one of the greatest tennis players of all time earns the most money in the sport at present, there is a similar theme in football. Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most legendary players to ever play football and his wage certainly reflects that.

Ronaldo earns around £175 million per year from his contract at Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League. The Portuguese star also earns more than £40 million per year in off-field sponsorships which alone blows Djokovic’s earnings out of the water.

Overall, he is the highest-paid athlete in the world right now – remarkably he earns more than six times as much as one of the greatest tennis players in the world.

LeBron James

It is no surprise that LeBron James is the highest earner of all the basketball stars on the planet. His abilities on the court have helped him build a huge individual brand worldwide.

James’ Los Angeles Lakers contract currently nets him roughly £38 million per year, but his off-court earnings completely dwarf that figure. The American earned £64 million over the entire year of 2022 from all his brand deals combined according to Forbes.

Overall Djokovic’s earnings are certainly impressive and will surely continue to increase and hit unprecedented new levels for a tennis star in the future. However, the income of his fellow athletes from other global sports shows that there is much higher revenue available in different sporting avenues.

While Djokovic earns around £30 million, James earns more than three times that as a basketball player. Ronaldo also earns more than double what the Lakers star earns.

The Serbian has guaranteed himself a lifetime of earnings by excelling in tennis, but the superior earnings in other sports suggest that tennis has a lot more marketing potential to fulfil.