20 Grand Slams, US$1.1 billion in earnings: Roger Federer’s career by the numbers


Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates winning his match against Dan Evans of Great Britain on Day 3 of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in 2021
Roger Federer | Image source: Mohamed Farag/Getty Images

Roger Federer said on social media last week that he was ready to retire, and now the fateful day is here: The 41-year-old tennis legend will take the court for the final time as a professional on Friday alongside Rafael Nadal in a doubles match in London at the Laver Cup, the international team tournament he cofounded in 2017.

Federer, who has been sidelined by a knee injury since reaching the Wimbledon quarterfinals in July 2021, is among the most accomplished players in the history of the sport when judged by his on-court exploits. Off the court, however, there’s no debate: Federer is tennis’ greatest of all-time, and one of the most financially successful athletes ever, regardless of sport.

Here are some of the top accomplishments of Federer’s storied career, as a tennis player and as a businessman.

16: The number of consecutive years Federer has ranked as tennis’ highest-paid player. He made US$90 million over the past 12 months before taxes and agents’ fees, according to Forbes estimates.

20: Federer’s Grand Slam singles titles, the third-most ever by a man, after Rafael Nadal’s 22 and Novak Djokovic’s 21. (Pete Sampras is fourth with 14.) From 2005 to 2007, he reached ten straight major finals, part of a stretch in which he made 18 of 19. Federer holds the record at Wimbledon with eight men’s singles titles and also won an Olympic silver medal in singles in 2012 and a gold in doubles in 2008, plus the 2014 Davis Cup.

103: Federer’s ATP singles titles, the second-most ever after Jimmy Connors’ 109. His 1,251 match wins also rank second, after Connors’ 1,274.

310: The number of weeks Federer spent as the ATP Tour’s top-ranked player, a record surpassed by Djokovic’s 373. Federer does still hold the record for consecutive weeks, with 237, however, and he was the oldest player ever to claim the ATP’s No. 1 ranking, at age 36 in 2018.

US$2 million: The amount Federer could command per event to play in exhibitions and smaller tournaments when he was healthy, reaching US$3 million or more for certain events.

US$90.7 million: Federer’s estimated earnings before taxes and agents’ fees over the 12 months ending in May, ranking him seventh on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid athletes. Only about US$700,000 of that total came from his tennis winnings. His $90 million total off the court makes him the top pitchman in all of sports, US$10 million ahead of LeBron James and $22 million ahead of third-place Tiger Woods, according to Forbes estimates.

US$106.3 million: Federer’s peak earnings total, from the 2020 Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid athletes. That was the only time in Federer’s career that he topped the list, although he has ranked in the top ten every year since landing at No. 11 in 2009. His 2020 haul included $US100 million from endorsements and appearance fees.

US$130.6 million: Federer’s career prize money total since he turned pro in 1998, the third-best mark ever, behind Djokovic’s US$159 million and Nadal’s US$131.7 million. Incredibly, that represents less than 12% of his career earnings total before taxes and agents’ fees, with Federer having earned roughly US$1 billion from endorsements, appearances and other business endeavours, according to Forbes estimates.

US$300 million: The reported value of Federer’s apparel deal with Uniqlo, over ten years. He joined the brand in 2018 after leaving Nike, which had paid him roughly US$150 million over the course of two decades. Federer has a dozen sponsors beyond Uniqlo, including Credit Suisse, Lindt, Mercedes and Rolex, all of which have stuck with him for more than a decade.

US$1.1 billion: Federer’s career earnings total before taxes and agents’ fees, more than twice Nadal’s US$500 million and Djokovic’s US$470 million, according to Forbes estimates. (He also far surpasses Serena Williams’ US$340 million, the best mark on the women’s side.) It’s the fifth-highest total ever recorded by an active athlete, according to Forbes estimates, leaving him behind only Woods, Cristiano Ronaldo, James and Lionel Messi. Federer, who has a significant stake in the Swiss shoe brand On in addition to his cash earnings, can now seek to become the fourth billionaire athlete, after Michael JordanJames and Woods.

This article was first published on forbes.com