When Novak Djokovic faced Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Australian Open final on Sunday, he didn’t just play for a nice trophy or a record-tying 22nd Grand Slam title, but also for a winner’s purse of 2.975 million Australian dollars (roughly $2.1 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 $166.9 million in career prize money, putting him more than $30 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 four 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 and Maria Sharapova all make the top 10, with Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka falling just short ranked 11th to 13th with career earnings of roughly $35 million each. 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.