Tennis legend Roger Federer made history when he became the first tennis player to top Forbes’ list of highest-paid athletes, on Tuesday. Forbes estimated Federer's annual earnings at $106.3 million.
The Swiss just edged football stars Cristiano Ronaldo ($105m) and Lionel Messi ($104m), who were the only other athletes to surpass the $100m milestone.
Meanwhile, annual earnings of $ 26 million, India's cricket captain Virat Kohli is the only India athlete to be ranked in top 100. Kohli, who is one of just three Indian cricketers selected for the nation's A+ contracts, which guarantee an annual salary of $1 million in 2020, is ranked 66 in the list.
However, according to 2020 Forbes ranking, as the coronavirus wreaked havoc on sports and canceled or postponed many marquee events for the first time since World War, the earnings for the world’s top-earning athletes dropped for the first time in four years. The 100 highest-paid athletes earned a combined $3.6 billion this year, which is 9% below 2019 and the first decline since 2016, when boxers Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao skewed the results with a $400 million payout from their May 2015 "Fight of the Century" pay-per-view bout.
Forbes Highest-Paid Athletes - Top 5
|1) Roger Federer||$106.3 million|
|2) Cristiano Ronaldo||$105 million|
|3) Lionel Messi||$104 million|
|4) Neymar||$95.5 million|
|5) LeBron James||$88.2 million|