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The Loop

Roger Federer is the world's highest-paid athlete, joins Tiger Woods in exclusive endorsement club

May 29, 2020

Andrew Redington

Roger Federer and Tiger Woods have long had a competition over who would win the most majors in their respective sports. Now they are linked as well by an impressive earnings accomplishment.

Federer was revealed as the world's highest paid athlete in Forbes Magazine's annual top-100 list on Friday having earned a reported $106.3 million in the past 12 months. Surprisingly, it's the first time Federer, whose previous best was No. 2 in 2013, has been No. 1. It's also the first time a tennis player has topped the list since its inception in 1990. Go tennis!

Meanwhile, Federer's longtime friend did OK for himself representing golf. Woods earned $62.3 million to move up to No. 8 from No. 11 last year.

Where Federer matched Woods, though, is the source of his income. With just $6 million in on-court earnings, the tennis star joined Tiger as the only two active athletes to earn more than $100 million from endorsements in a single year. Talk about a strong BRAND. The guy would have made a hundred big ones without even executing one of those graceful serve-and-volleys. Amazing.

Of course, while Federer may have a huge edge in majors over Woods at 20 to 15, he still trails Tiger by a lot in the career-earnings department. The defending Masters champ has ranked No. 1 on Forbes' list a record 12 times.

Following Federer in the top five are three soccer stars (Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar) and LeBron James. Rory McIlroy is the next golfer on the list at No. 14 ($52 million) and Phil Mickelson isn't far behind at No. 25 ($40.8 million).

On the women's side, Naomi Osaka set a female earnings record with $37.4 million, taking over the top spot from Serena Williams. Again, go tennis! Check out the full list here and remind yourself you should have practiced harder and trained more as kid. Oh well.