When Novak Djokovic faced Casper Ruud in the final of Roland Garros on Sunday, he didn’t just play for a nice trophy or a record-breaking (or tying) 23rd Grand Slam title, but also for a winner’s purse of 2.3 million euros (almost $2.5 million). While Djokovic is at a stage in his career where he has long stopped playing for the money and has his eyes set on tennis’ record books instead, the sizeable check he received for his latest victory does help to extend his record for the most prize money earned by any tennis player in history.
According to data published by the ATP, Djokovic has collected $169.8 million in career prize money, putting him more than $35 million ahead of his closest rival Rafael Nadal in that respect. Aside from Djokovic and Nadal, Roger Federer, who retired last fall, is the only other player to pass the $100 million mark, with fellow retiree Serena Williams just $5 million short of that milestone.
Interestingly, the 10 highest earners in tennis include five women, which is a testament to the successful fight for equal prize money at many of the sport’s largest events. Aside from Serena Williams, her sister Venus, Simona Halep, Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova all make the top 10, with Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki close behind with career earnings of more than $35 million as well. Thanks to equal prize money and the women’s game’s global popularity, tennis players have dominated the list of highest-paid female athletes for years, while male tennis players tend to fall short of the earnings realized by football and basketball players.