As US Open Begins We Are Checking Out the Top-earning Tennis Players of All Time

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In 1973, Billie Jean King famously beat Bobby Riggs in "The Battle Of The Sexes," making her the first woman in sports to win $100,000 in a single year. But her plea for gender equality came three years prior when she won the Italian Open and won a mere $600 compared to the male winner, Ilie Năstase, taking home $3,500. The discrepancy prompted her famous quote, "Everyone thinks women should be thrilled when we get crumbs, and I want women to have the cake, the icing and the cherry on top, too."

King continued championing women's rights throughout her career and founded the Women's Tennis Association in 1973. Because of her actions, tennis has slowly closed the gender gap and now male and female players earn the same amount of prize money in each of the four majors; however, a study published in 2021 by British price comparison site Money.co.uk found women players still earn roughly 34% less than men.

Interestingly, the United States leads the way with five total players, while no other country has more than two. Among them is Serena Williams, who alluded to her impending retirement in August 2022 with plans to "evolve away" from the game.

When it comes to men's tennis, the top of the list should come as no surprise. The Big Three—Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer—have reigned over the sport for many years. No other player has earned even half as much as any of them. And their $421 million in earnings exceeds the next 12 players' winnings combined. They have also won an astonishing 63 Grand Slam tournaments (the four "majors": Australian, French, Wimbledon, U.S. Open).

Several factors make an apples-to-apples comparison challenging. First, some of these pros' careers lasted much longer than others, allowing them to earn far more money. For example, Andy Roddick only played singles for 12 years, while Roger Federer has doubled that at 24 years and counting. Second, these earnings totals are not adjusted for inflation. For example, Stefan Edberg's $20 million in the 1980s and 1990s was worth far more than John Isner's $21 million since 2007. But we still think you'll love the service of seeing this data set.

Stacker ranked the 25 top-earning tennis players of all time for the women's and men's division, using data compiled by the WTA Tour. Earning totals are current as of Aug. 1, 2022.

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Women's Tennis

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#25. Arantxa Sánchez Vicario

- Career earnings: $16,942,639
- Turned professional: 1985
- Country: Spain

Arantxa Sánchez Vicario started playing tennis at the age of 4, and her dedication paid off. During her 17-year career, the Spanish player won 14 Grand Slam titles, earned a silver and bronze medal in both the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, and won five Fed Cup titles representing Spain. In 1994, the International Tennis Federation named her that year's World Champion.

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#24. Sloane Stephens

- Career earnings: $16,987,965
- Turned professional: 2007
- Country: United States

Sloane Stephens has had some ups and downs since turning pro in 2007. After rising to prominence in 2013, a foot injury slowed her down in 2016; however, she ended up winning the U.S. Open upon her return in 2017. She also has seven WTA titles under her belt, including one in 2022.

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#23. Jelena Janković

- Career earnings: $19,089,259
- Turned professional: 2000
- Country: Serbia

During her 17-year career, Jelena Janković won 15 WTA single titles, as well as two doubles titles. The Serbian player's most notable performance was winning the 2007 Wimbledon mixed-doubles with her partner Jamie Murray.

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#22. Samantha Stosur

- Career earnings: $20,024,430
- Turned professional: 1999
- Country: Australia

Samantha Stosur memorably won a Grand Slam singles tournament after defeating Serena Williams at the 2011 U.S. Open, making her the first Australian woman to achieve a Grand Slam singles title since Evonne Goolagong Cawley's 1980 victory, but it was doubles where she really thrived. In her career, Stosur has won four Grand Slam doubles championships. She notably announced her singles retirement in May 2022 but is still active in doubles.

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#21. Justine Henin

- Career earnings: $20,863,335
- Turned professional: 1999
- Country: Belgium

Justine Henin spent 117 total weeks as the world's #1 player during her 12-year career. The Belgian player also won seven Grand Slam singles titles, 43 WTA singles titles, and a gold medal in women's singles at the 2004 Olympics.

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#20. Naomi Osaka

- Career earnings: $21,050,567
- Turned professional: 2014
- Country: Japan

Naomi Osaka is not only the first Asian player to be ranked #1 in singles, but she's also the youngest player on this list. The 24-year-old has won four Grand Slam singles titles and seven WTA titles since turning pro in 2014.

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#19. Elina Svitolina

- Career earnings: $21,418,949
- Turned professional: 2010
- Country: Ukraine

Elina Svitolina has won 16 WTA singles titles since going pro in 2010. The Odessa native also took home the women's singles bronze medal at the 2020 Olympics, earning Ukraine its first Olympic medal in tennis.

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#18. Martina Navratilova

- Career earnings: $21,626,089
- Turned professional: 1973
- Country: United States

Martina Navratilova is the only player on this list to turn pro in the '70s. During her prolific career, the Czech American player spent a whopping 332 total weeks ranked #1 in the world in singles and a record 237 weeks in the top spot for doubles. That makes her the only player in history to top both rankings for more than 200 weeks. Considered one of the best players of all time, Navratilova won 167 WTA single titles and 16 Grand Slams before retiring in 2006.

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#17. Steffi Graf

- Career earnings: $21,895,277
- Turned professional: 1982
- Country: Germany

Steffi Graf broke all kinds of records during her nearly 17-year career. The German player was ranked #1 in the world for an unbelievable 377 total weeks, which is more than any other player in history. She's also the only tennis player in history to win a Golden Grand Slam (titles in all four majors plus an Olympic gold medal all in the same year) and holds at least four titles in every Grand Slam. She is married to retired tennis star Andre Agassi.

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#16. Lindsay Davenport

- Career earnings: $22,166,338
- Turned professional: 1991
- Country: United States

Lindsay Davenport won 55 WTA titles during her career, including three Grand Slams. She also took home a women's singles gold medal at the 1996 Olympics. She is one of just five women to have held the world #1 ranking four times.

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#15. Karolína Plíšková

- Career earnings: $23,644,320
- Turned professional: 2006
- Country: Czech Republic

Karolína Plíšková has won 16 WTA singles titles and five doubles in her career. The Czech pro also made the Grand Slam finals twice, though she has yet to win a title.

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#14. Ashleigh Barty

- Career earnings: $23,829,070
- Turned professional: 2010
- Country: Australia

Before retiring in March 2022, Ashleigh Barty had an impressive career. She holds 15 WTA singles titles and 12 doubles titles. She's also won three Grand Slams in singles and one in doubles.

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#13. Garbiñe Muguruza

- Career earnings: $24,458,556
- Turned professional: 2011
- Country: Spain

Since turning pro, Garbiñe Muguruza has made quite the name for herself. She's won 10 WTA singles titles, including the 2021 WTA Finals, and two Grand Slams. She also has five doubles titles.

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#12. Kim Clijsters

- Career earnings: $24,545,194
- Turned professional: 1997
- Country: Belgium

Kim Clijsters has been playing tennis professionally for more than 20 years. In that time, she's won 41 WTA singles titles and 11 doubles titles. She's also won all four Grand Slams (Australian Open and U.S. Open in singles, and Wimbledon and the French Open in doubles).

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#11. Martina Hingis

- Career earnings: $24,749,074
- Turned professional: 1994
- Country: Switzerland

When Martina Hingis reached all four majors finals (winning three) in 1997, she became the youngest Grand Slam winner in Open Era history at the age of 16. By the time she retired in 2017, the Swiss player had achieved 43 WTA singles titles and 13 doubles titles. She won six total Grand Slams (five in singles and one in doubles).

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#10. Svetlana Kuznetsova

- Career earnings: $25,816,890
- Turned professional: 2000
- Country: Russia

Svetlana Kuznetsova won 18 WTA singles titles and 16 doubles titles in her career. The St. Petersburg, Russia, native also won four total Grand Slams (two in singles and two in doubles).

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#9. Agnieszka Radwańska

- Career earnings: $27,683,807
- Turned professional: 2004
- Country: Poland

Agnieszka Radwańska won 20 WTA singles titles and two doubles titles in her career. Though she never won a major, she became the first Polish player in the Open Era to reach a Grand Slam final when she lost to Serena Williams in the 2012 Wimbledon championship. She is also the first Polish woman to win the WTA Finals.

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#8. Angelique Kerber

- Career earnings: $31,886,468
- Turned professional: 2003
- Country: Germany

Angelique Kerber has won 14 WTA singles titles, including three majors, since going pro in 2003. The Bremen native also took home a silver medal for Germany in singles at the 2016 Olympics.

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#7. Petra Kvitová

- Career earnings: $34,193,491
- Turned professional: 2006
- Country: Czech Republic

Since going pro in 2006, Petra Kvitová has won 29 WTA singles titles, including two Wimbledon championships. She also won a bronze medal in singles at the 2016 Olympics, representing the Czech Republic.

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#6. Victoria Azarenka

- Career earnings: $34,449,618
- Turned professional: 2003
- Country: Belarus

Victoria Azarenka has done a lot for her native Belarus. She was ranked #1 in the world for a combined 51 weeks, making her the first Belarusian player to top the WTA rankings. She also is the first Belarusian to win a Grand Slam title (she's a two-time champion in both singles and doubles) and has two Olympic medals, taking home the bronze in singles and gold in mixed doubles at the 2012 games.

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#5. Caroline Wozniacki

- Career earnings: $35,233,415
- Turned professional: 2005
- Country: Denmark

Caroline Wozniacki retired in January 2020, but not before making history. After 43 Grand Slam appearances, she was crowned champion at the 2018 Australian Open, making her the first Danish player to win a Grand Slam title.

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#4. Maria Sharapova

- Career earnings: $38,777,962
- Turned professional: 2001
- Country: Russia

Maria Sharapova is one of only six women to complete a career Grand Slam (winning at least one title at each major tournament), with five total championships. She is also the only Russian woman to have done so. Sharapova took home the silver medal in women's singles at the 2012 Olympics before retiring in February 2020. As a businesswoman, Sharapova has appeared on ABC's Shark Tank.

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#3. Simona Halep

- Career earnings: $39,663,297
- Turned professional: 2006
- Country: Romania

Simona Halep has been ranked #1 in the world for 64 total weeks and won 23 WTA singles titles, including two Grand Slams, since going pro in 2006. It's also worth noting that, with the exception of Venus and Serena Williams (who implied her impending retirement in August 2022), Halep is the only player in the top five of this list who is still active on the 2022 WTA Tour.

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#2. Venus Williams

- Career earnings: $42,285,378
- Turned professional: 1994
- Country: United States

Venus Williams is considered one of the all-time greatest sports figures. She reached #1 status on Feb. 25, 2002, becoming the first African American woman to achieve the top spot in the Open Era. She has seven Grand Slam singles titles and an Olympic gold medal in singles; however, it's her and her younger sister, Serena Williams, as a duo that has been truly unstoppable. Together, the Williams sisters have won 14 majors titles and are unbeaten in Grand Slam finals. They also have won three Olympic gold medals as a duo.

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#1. Serena Williams

- Career earnings: $94,588,910
- Turned professional: 1997
- Country: United States

Serena Williams' career has been quite remarkable. In addition to her doubles success with sister Venus Williams, the 40-year-old player has 73 WTA single titles, including 23 Grand Slams (the most in the Open Era). In 2002-2003, she won all four majors, achieving a non-calendar Grand Slam and career Grand Slam. That dominance has translated into Serena earning more than double in her career than any other female tennis player. She has also earned more money than every male pro outside of the big three—Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer. After more than 20 years in the game, Serena announced her plans to "evolve away" from the sport on Aug. 9, 2022, presumably after the 2022 U.S. Open.

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Men's Tennis

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#25. Stefan Edberg

- Career earnings: $20,613,441
- Turned professional: 1983
- Country: Sweden

Edberg is the only Scandinavian player among our top 25 earners. Fellow Swede Bjorn Borg was far more accomplished, with 11 Grand Slam wins compared to Edberg's six, but hit his prime a decade earlier when purses were much less lucrative.

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#24. Andy Roddick

- Career earnings: $20,640,030
- Turned professional: 2000
- Country: United States

Roddick was the last American man to win a Grand Slam event (the 2003 U.S. Open) and the last American ranked #1 for the year (also in 2003). He was only 20 that year and seemed headed for greatness, but only made four other Grand Slam finals—each time losing to Roger Federer.

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#23. Lleyton Hewitt

- Career earnings: $20,889,965
- Turned professional: 1998
- Country: Australia

In 2001, the lone Aussie on the list became the youngest pro, at 20, to achieve a #1 ranking. That was the same year he won the U.S. Open. But, except for a Wimbledon win the following year, Hewitt never did any better during an 18-year career (22 years if you count doubles).

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#22. Gaël Monfils

- Career earnings: $20,890,958
- Turned professional: 2004
- Country: France

France's top player has never made it to a Grand Slam final, but consistency landed him on this list. Monfils has played in at least one ATP tournament final every year since 2005 and has won 11. His parents both immigrated to France from Caribbean countries, and his father was a pro soccer player.

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#21. Ivan Lendl

- Career earnings: $21,262,417
- Turned professional: 1978
- Country: United States

Lendl is the only tennis star on our list who played in the '70s when purses were far slimmer, and his eight majors triumphs still put him well shy of the 20 to 22 won by the Big Three. But his pioneering of the inside-out forehand changed the sport and helped him win consistently; no other player has won more than 90% of their matches in five different years.

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#20. John Isner

- Career earnings: $21,455,192
- Turned professional: 2007
- Country: United States

Benefiting from his 6-foot-10 height, Isner has been one of the sport's most powerful servers. He's never made a Grand Slam final, but he broke the all-time record for aces at 2022 Wimbledon. Wimbledon is also the site of his most talked-about performance ever—the longest Grand Slam match ever played, a win over fellow serving ace Nicolas Mahut in 2010 when the 70-68 final set stretched the match to more than 11 hours over the course of three days.

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#19. Grigor Dimitrov

- Career earnings: $21,498,490
- Turned professional: 2008
- Country: Bulgaria

Dimitrov made this list despite never making a Grand Slam final due to consistent play; his current streak of 46 straight Grand Slam appearances leads all male pros. The 6-foot-3, 31-year-old became the first Bulgarian player to qualify for and win the ATP Finals in 2017.

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#18. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

- Career earnings: $22,458,018
- Turned professional: 2004
- Country: France

By the time he retired after the 2022 French Open, Tsonga established himself as one of France's greatest in the sport. He made just one Grand Slam final, the 2008 Australian Open, but has made at least the quarterfinal round in all four majors and is one of only three men to have beaten the Big Three at majors. Tsonga is the son of a Congolese father and French mother.

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#17. Yevgeny Kafelnikov

- Career earnings: $23,883,797
- Turned professional: 1992
- Country: Russia

This 1996 French Open, 1999 Australian Open, and 2000 Olympic singles champion has been busier in retirement than he was during his 11-year pro tennis career. Since 2003, the Renaissance man Kafelnikov has been a pro golfer, pro poker player, and tennis coach.

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#16. Daniil Medvedev

- Career earnings: $24,151,740
- Turned professional: 2014
- Country: Russia

This 2021 U.S. Open champion will surely move up on this list because he's only 26 and is currently ranked #1 in the world. Medvedev came oh-so-close to winning his second major at the 2022 Australian Open, only to be beaten by Rafael Nadal (2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5) in the second-longest match in majors history.

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#15. Kei Nishikori

- Career earnings: $25,065,492
- Turned professional: 2007
- Country: Japan

Nishikori is the only Asian player to make this list, although the WTA features Japanese superstar Naomi Osaka. Besides becoming the first Asian man to reach a majors final (2014 U.S. Open), he has proven to be stellar in the clutch, winning 27 of his 34 five-set matches—a record 79.4% winning percentage.

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#14. Boris Becker

- Career earnings: $25,080,956
- Turned professional: 1984
- Country: Germany

Sadly, Becker's life trajectory is further proof that money and fame aren't everything. He was a teen sensation, winning six majors between the ages of 17 and 28 (including Wimbledon three times) and attained a #1 ranking. But in April 2022, he was sentenced by a British court to serve two and a half years in prison for hiding assets related to his 2017 bankruptcy.

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#13. Juan Martín del Potro

- Career earnings: $25,896,046
- Turned professional: 2005
- Country: Argentina

Del Potro's moment in the sun came at the 2009 U.S. Open when he beat Nadal and Federer in succession. That made him the only winner of a major who wasn't one of the Big Three between 2005 and 2012. Injuries since his glorious 2009 season have caused him to say he will likely retire in 2022.

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#12. Dominic Thiem

- Career earnings: $29,059,949
- Turned professional: 2011
- Country: Austria

Fourth time's the charm? Thiem lost consecutive French Open finals to Nadal in 2018 and 2019 and the Australian Open final in a five-set loss to Djokovic in 2020. But he finally broke through by winning the U.S. Open title over Alexander Zverev, coming back from a two-set deficit.

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#11. Tomáš Berdych

- Career earnings: $29,491,328
- Turned professional: 2002
- Country: Czech Republic

Here's your Berdych checklist: Grand Slam finalist (a 2010 Wimbledon loss to Nadal after defeating Federer and Djokovic)? Check. A career-high #4 ranking in 2015? Check. Method of payment? Check. Nationality? Czech.

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#10. Marin Čilić

- Career earnings: $30,588,972
- Turned professional: 2005
- Country: Croatia

This winner of the 2014 U.S. Open and runner-up at the 2017 Wimbledon and 2018 Australian Open (both times losing to Federer) has been ranked as high as third in the world in 2018. Čilić also won the Olympic silver medal in doubles with Ivan Dodig for his native Croatia at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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#9. Andre Agassi

- Career earnings: $31,152,975
- Turned professional: 1986
- Country: United States

Agassi famously wrote in his 2010 memoir, "Open": "I hate tennis…and always have." Maybe so, but fans loved watching the eight-time Grand Slam champion play. And he apparently didn't mind the income as his net worth has more than doubled since he began investing in resorts and other businesses with his wife and fellow retired tennis star Steffi Graf.

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#8. David Ferrer

- Career earnings: $31,483,911
- Turned professional: 2000
- Country: Spain

Ferrer played in the shadow of fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal for almost his entire 18-year career, but he beat him occasionally. That pattern also held up in his only majors final at the 2013 French Open, when Ferrer lost to the "King of Clay," 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

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#7. Alexander Zverev

- Career earnings: $32,407,055
- Turned professional: 2013
- Country: Germany

At only 25 years old, Zverev has taken full advantage of increasingly generous purses in tennis, earning more than every player but the Big Three and three others since he started winning tournaments in his teens. The 2020 U.S. Open winner has earned even more than accomplished countryman Daniil Medvedev, #1 in the world to Zverev's #2 ranking as of August 2022.

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#6. Stan Wawrinka

- Career earnings: $35,058,754
- Turned professional: 2002
- Country: Switzerland

Just as David Ferrer spent a career in the shadow of fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal, this three-time Grand Slam winner has toiled in the shadow of fellow Swiss citizen Roger Federer. Federer is nearly four years older but has won nearly $100 million more, so it doesn't appear that Wawrinka will catch up in career winnings. But the Swiss people should be proud that their nation of less than 9 million has two players among the top six earners in the world.

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#5. Pete Sampras

- Career earnings: $43,280,489
- Turned professional: 1988
- Country: United States

Only the Big Three have won more Grand Slam titles than Sampras. His 14 between 1990 and 2002—including 7 Wimbledons and 5 U.S. Opens—make him America's GOAT in tennis. The only man who came close to matching him, Andre Agassi, lost to Sampras in Sampras' last major match—the 2002 U.S. Open finals, where Sampras became the only player to ever win the final major at which he competed.

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#4. Andy Murray

- Career earnings: $62,913,301
- Turned professional: 2005
- Country: Great Britain

The Big Three were once the Big Four, but Murray—despite being younger than Federer and Nadal and the same age as Djokovic—hasn't been close to their level since 2019 due to constant hip pain. The Scot won three Grand Slam titles, including two Wimbledons in front of wildly cheering British fans, but lost eight—every one of them to either Djokovic or Federer.

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#3. Roger Federer

- Career earnings: $130,594,339
- Turned professional: 1998
- Country: Switzerland

The eldest of the Big Three is 41, but like Tom Brady in football, Federer just keeps going. With 20 Grand Slam titles, rivals Nadal (22) and Djokovic (21) have overtaken him, but many still consider him to be the GOAT of men's tennis. He is also a promoter of the sport and Switzerland, which he promotes as a brand ambassador.

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#2. Rafael Nadal

- Career earnings: $131,338,131
- Turned professional: 2001
- Country: Spain

"Rafa" is beloved everywhere he goes, especially in Spain. His hustling style is ideally suited to clay courts, leading to his unfathomable 14 French Open wins, but he's also won each of the other three majors at least twice, proving his mettle on any surface. Though Djokovic holds the top spot for career cash winnings, Nadal has the most Grand Slam wins with 22, beating Djokovic by one.

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#1. Novak Djokovic

- Career earnings: $158,996,253
- Turned professional: 2003
- Country: Serbia

Djokovic is the all-time biggest earner in tennis. He has earned the most money by a margin of $27 million over runner-up Nadal, but has won the second-most majors with 21. Any further earnings and majors wins, however, may be limited by Djokovic's refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19, which has already cost him his participation at the 2022 Australian Open.

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