Everyone throughout the world is expected to be treated as an equal and the world of tennis is no different in this regard. It wasn’t until 1973 that the U.S. Open decided to award male and female players prize money, which was equal. Tennis has definitely helped to narrow the wage gap and bring about a sense of gender equality in sports.
Seven of the 10 highly paid female athletes throughout the world were tennis players in 2015. The U.S. Open finals in 2013 and 2014 for women had better TV ratings as compared to the men’s open finals.
The female athletes are presently earning equal wages when they win tournaments, but the earnings of the top male players still outstrip their female counterparts. The main players receive better endorsement deals and sponsorships as compared to women. They also get more media coverage and TV slots because of the perception that the men’s game is more challenging and popular. The male players still stand way ahead of women in terms of earning. Let us look at the earnings of top tennis stars.
We have considered male and female stars together in order to give you an estimate of the differences within their earnings.
The thing about tennis is if you stay off for two weeks, or just for three days, you can lose your rhythm quickly. So it’s just a question of constant diligence and vigilance. Venus Williams
Petra is the fifth highest earning female tennis player who has until this time earned $7.7 million. She also has endorsements from Nike for clothing and footwear apart from a jewelry manufacturer from Czechoslovakia.
With earnings of $23 million Andy Murray is the fifth highest earning male player. Apart from his earnings from different tournaments, Andy also has five-year endorsement deals with Adidas along with a reported $25 million deal with Under Armour, which began in 2014. If Andy’s earnings are compared to the fifth highest earning female player, it can be seen that Andy takes away nearly 5 times the amount taken by Petra.
Ana is in the number four position with earnings of $8.3 million from tennis, but she also has a multimillion-dollar deal for endorsing Nike and Adidas and in 2006, she was contracted by the latter for a lifetime deal.
Kei is in a similar position as Ana but has an earning of $33.5 million, and the 26-year-old Japanese is the sixth-ranked player by the ATP. He endorses companies like Delta airlines and TAG Heuer along with Wilson BLX steam 99 racquets. As it is evident, he has earnings of nearly four times when compared to Ana.
Caroline has career earnings of $14.6 million, and the Danish player held the number-one ranking for 67 weeks. She is the third highest earning female player within the sport of tennis. She also endorses a line of Adidas tennis apparel, which is designed by Stella McCartney, which has bolstered her earnings.
Rafael Nadal is the counterpart of Caroline at the number of three positions and has until this time taken $37.5 million as earnings from the sport and the various endorsements and sponsorships he has. His earnings are 2 1/2 times better than Caroline, which is consistent with the difference which we have been noting from the beginning.
Maria Sharapova is the second highest earning women’s player who has until this time taken $21.9 million. She has had a setback in the recent past when she was banned for using a substance during the 2016 Australian open and has therefore lost some lucrative endorsement deals from Nike and Porsche, which were taken up by Serena Williams, but it is expected that she will soon return to claiming her position back.
The 29-year-old Serbian player is the second highest earning male player despite being the number-one player ranked by the ATP. He has earnings of $55.8 million, which are nearly double the figure of Maria Sharapova.
Serena is the highest earning female tennis player who has earnings of $28.9 million. Apart from her earnings from the sport, she also has endorsement deals with companies like Gatorade, Delta Airlines and Pepsi. She was also instrumental in getting Wimbledon to decide finally to award male and female players similar prize money.
Roger Federer is the fourth-ranked player by the ATP but is the highest earning member among the male tennis players. He has earnings of $67.8 million, and the majority of his earnings come from endorsement deals with companies like Nike, Moet and Chandon, Gillette, etc. As is the norm his earnings are nearly the double of the top earning female tennis player Serena Williams.
My dad said if you become a tennis professional just make sure you get into the top hundred, because you have to make a little bit of money. You make a living so you can pay your coaching and, you know, your travels. Roger Federer
The world of tennis has adopted equality and does not differentiate between male and female players. However, a similar attitude has not been adopted by various companies that are offering endorsement deals and making the sport more lucrative for the males than females.