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Tennis player Roger Federer poses with the trophy he won in men's final of Wimbledon 2017. (Photo: Forbes Magazine)

Roger Federer: First tennis player to become a billionaire

Tennis player Roger Federer poses with the trophy he won in men's final of Wimbledon 2017. (Photo: Forbes Magazine)

Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer is reportedly set to become the first tennis billionaire.

According to a Forbes, Federer’s total career earnings have reached around $US900 million — with US$200 million more coming in 2020. This marks a significant increase from the US$77.2 million he earned in 2018, based on estimates.

The new projections would make Federer the third professional athlete to break the billion-dollar threshold and put him in company with greats Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Golfer Tiger Woods (left), basketball legend Michael Jordan and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr (not in photo) will soon be welcoming 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer to the sports players’ billionaire club. (Photo: Sam Greenwood/PGA)

Figures from the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) indicate that Federer has earned $US129 million in prize money from tennis, with the bulk of his wealth accumulated through off-court activity.

Federer generates US$93.4 million every year from prize money and sponsorships with the universal brands such as Uniqlo, Rolex, Credit Suisse and Mercedes Benz, Forbes reported.

This Rolex advertisement features 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer sporting one of the watchmaker’s timepiece while celebrating with the Australian Open trophy. (Photo: Bob’s Watches)

Roger’s swap from his Nike endorsement (clothes and shoes) to Uniqlo in 2018, which is rumoured to pay US$30 million annually, would account for an additional US$15-20 million more. The new partnership also paved the way for the recently announced investment in On, a running shoe company based in Switzerland, with plans to develop a shoe line.

“I’ve never done crazy, silly investments,” Federer told CNBC about a recent investment in Swiss running shoe company On, adding that it has been his largest investment to date.

“I remember once, back in 2004 when I came here to the US Open, people were saying I don’t have enough partners.”

“I’ve never done crazy, silly investments.”

— Roger Federer, 20-time Grand Slam tennis champion

The new figure also takes into account a lucrative South American exhibition tour during the off-season, said to be worth at least US$10 million, along with another exhibition in China — both of which will be in addition to his usual take-home pay.

Roger Federer makes a backhand shot during the World ATP Finals match in 2017.
(Photo: Hindustan Times)

“I think it’s great I kept a bit of a white canvas, then I was able to partner with the best brands in the world.”