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Roger Federer may become the first billionaire in tennis this year. Here's how he became the highest-paid player in the world.

Published by Business Insider on Thu, 16 Jan 2020


Roger Federer may become the first tennis player to reach billionaire status.Like the small group of other billionaire athletes, most of Federer's wealth did not come directly from the game. The majority of his earnings come from lucrative sponsorship deals with the likes of Rolex, Mercedes, and Uniqlo.The tennis star won his first Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 2003his first of a record 20 Grand Slam singles titles.Visit Business Insider's home page for more stories.Roger Federer may become tennis's first billionaire.The former world number one is one of the most successful players of all time. He has won the men's singles tournament at Wimbledon alone eight times since 2003, as well as 20 Grand Slam singles titles all over the world. Federer is not only still playing some of the best tennis of his career at 38, but turning it into tournament trophies and lucrative sponsorship deals.Federer is not only one of the most talented athletes on the planet, but also the most profitable. Forbes named him the world's highest-paid tennis player in 2018, earning $77.2 million (58.3 million) from professional wins and sponsorship deals with companies from Rolex to Credit Suisse.That figure is likely to only go up, as the Swiss star signed a $300 million sponsorship deal with Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo in July 2018.From tailored tennis rackets to Swiss mansions, here's how Federer makes and spends his fortune.SEE ALSO:Everything tennis icon Roger Federer eats and drinks for breakfast, lunch, and dinnerDON'T MISS:Meet Steve Cohen, the hedge-fund billionaire who is in talks to buy the Mets for $2.6 billion and owns mansions across some of America's swankiest ZIP codesThis is 38-year-old Roger Federer, the highest-paid tennis player in the world.Source: ForbesFederer was a force to be reckoned with on the hard courts in 2019, winning the Dubai Championships, the Miami Open, and reaching the final of Indian Wells. He's risen from seventh in February back up to third in the ATP world rankings.Source: ATPHe's not too interested in his current ranking, though. "For me, the ranking, at 37 years old, is no longer really the priority," Federer said at a media event earlier in 2019. Instead, he's focusing on his health and winning the big tournaments, which might mean skipping smaller events here and there.Read more: Roger Federer is sliding down the world tennis rankings, but there's a very good reason why he won't careHis success trails back to the age of eight, when he started playing tennis. Born in Basel, Switzerland, on August 8, 1981, his Swiss father, Robert Federer, and South African mother, Lynette Du Rand, encouraged him to play from an early age.His parents both worked for the same pharmaceutical company, according to Biography.com.At 14, Federer became the national junior champion in Switzerland. He joined the junior tennis circuit in 1996 and won the junior Wimbledon title in 1998.Source: Biography.comFederer's big break came in 2003, when he won his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon against runner-up Mark Philippousis. He was just 21 at the time. He received 575,000 ($714,460) for his victory.Source: British TennisOne year later, he signed a sponsorship deal with watchmaker Maurice Lacroix. Later, Rolex struck an endorsement deal with Federer worth a reported $15 million.Federer is one of Rolex's best-known ambassadors, and you won't see him lifting a trophy without one of the luxury watches on his wrist, each of them hand-picked to match the tournament.Read more: The most expensive watches worn by 21 of the world's most elite athletesSource: Bob's WatchesThe majority of the $93.4 million Federer made in 2019 is from endorsement deals and partnerships. He won $3 million in prize money from tennis tournaments in the first half of 2019 alone, bringing his career total prize winnings to more than $123 million.Sources: Forbes, ATP.In 2007, he was signed by Gillette, starring in a number of adverts for the company.In 2008, Federer signed a 10-year sponsorship deal with Nike worth almost $120 million. The partnership ended in March 2018.Source:Forbes.Federer made headlines in 2018 when he swapped Nike for Uniqlo in a 10-year deal estimated to be worth $300 million. The deal with the Japanese brand had been "a long time coming," Federer said at Wimbledon 2018.Source: Business InsiderIn a recent Uniqlo ad, Federer tried his hand at the piano and said he'd like to practice more so he can surprise his wife.Source: Business InsiderUniqlo wasn't Federer's first 10-year contract. In 2009, he signed one with Credit Suisse. The firm declined to comment on the contract's value at the time, but it's thought to be worth around $20 million.Source: The TelegraphThe player is also known for his charity work. He founded the Roger Federer Foundation in 2003, which has since raised $40 million and hit its goal of educating one million children in Africa by the end of 2018. He still finds time to visit children who benefit from his charity.Source: Forbes, Tennis World USAAs a dedicated athlete, Federer spends a lot of money on his equipment. He has his rackets made by P1, a company which also counts Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray as clients.Source: The New YorkerHe likes the finer things in life, too. In 2014, Federer completed construction on a modern-looking mansion on Lake Zurich worth around $8.1 million.As well as owning other properties in Switzerland, he also keeps a penthouse in Dubai, where he spends much of the year training.Source: Basel ShowsThanks to his role as a brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz, Federer also has a large car collection. He partnered with the German automaker in 2008 and renewed the deal in 2018. The multiyear partnership is estimated to earn the tennis star $5 million a year.Source: Tennis World USAWhen he's not on the court, Federer is a keen hiker. Last year, he appeared on "Running Wild with Bear Grylls." "Just slightly upset that he beat me at mini ping-pong on the top of the cliff face," Grylls said.Source: Tennis World USAThat's not to say the athlete doesn't like to party in his downtime. He's an ambassador for Mot & Chandon champagne, which released a limited-edition bottle to mark his 20th year in professional tennis in 2018. The 20 bottles made sold for $23,000 a pop ' but all the proceeds went to the Roger Federer Foundation.Source: AdweekAfter winning his eighth Wimbledon title in 2017, Federer complained of a "head-ringing" hangover the day after: "[I] got to bed at 5 a.m., then woke up, and just didn't feel good. The last hour or so I'm somewhat okay again. I'm happy with that."Source: Business InsiderWhen Federer goes out for dinner, variety is clearly the spice of life. "I am a lover of Italian, Japanese, and Indian restaurants," he said in 2018.Source:International Business TimesSome of his fortune also funded his wedding to former professional tennis player Mirka Vavrinec in Basel, Switzerland. The pair had their first kiss at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and married in 2009.Source: The Telegraph, MailOnlineThey have two sets of twins together. Daughters Charleyne Riva and Myla Rose are 10, while sons Lenny and Leo are five.Source: MailOnlineHis wife is his source of fashion advice. "I used to wear jogging shoes, jeans, and a practice shirt, then when Mirka met me, she would look and go, 'Errr, are you sure about this look''" Federer told GQ in 2018.Source: GQFederer's worst fashion mistake came when he won Wimbledon in 2007."I went to receive the trophy, and as I walk down I'm a bit nervous, and as I put my hands in my pockets I realize that the pockets are going backwards," Federer recalled in his GQ interview. "I was like: 'It's too late! I can't change them anymore!' I lifted the trophy, and the pants were on backwards." If you look closely in the picture above, you can see that his trousers are on back-to-front.Source: Business InsiderNow 38, Federer has taken some time to consider his retirement. In 2018, he told a Swiss newspaper that he has bought "an old bus from the 60s," which he plans to drive around Europe once he has some spare time.Source: Business InsiderThis is an updated version of a post originally written by Edith Hancock published on January 31, 2017.
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