One of the most hotly anticipated U.S. Opens in recent memory runs from Aug. 24-Sept. 12 — and it’s shaping up to be one for the ages. Novak Djokovic is looking to make history twice by winning a record-breaking 21st major title and joining just six other players in history in conquering the elusive Grand Slam.
On the women’s side, high drama ensued when both of the Williams sisters pulled out of the tournament at the 11th hour due to injury.
Along the way, a whole lot of money will be made both on the court and off as the world’s greatest tennis players make both their talent and their star power pay.
- Net Worth: $4M
Sloane Stephens’ career took off in 2011 when she was the youngest player to debut in the Top 100 that year. From 2013-16, Stephens quickly solidified herself as a force in the tennis world, facing powerhouses Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. But in 2017, the tennis star gained worldwide recognition when she won her first Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open just 11 months after returning from a foot injury. Stephens was also the runner-up in the 2018 French Open, losing to No. 1-ranked Simona Halep.
But Stephens’ win at the U.S. Open added millions to her bank account — she received $3.7 million in prize money. Overall, Stephens has won $16,101,104 in career prize money.
- Net Worth: $12M
Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov is currently ranked No. 18 by the ATP. He gained attention in 2014 when he defeated British tennis player Andy Murray in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. That same year, he advanced to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, where he ultimately lost to Rafael Nadal. In 2017, Dimitrov made his way back to the Australian Open, where he again lost to Nadal in the semifinals. Although he hasn’t won a Gram Slam title yet, he has eight other singles titles.
During his peak 2015, Forbes reported that the now 30-year-old made $5.5 million in endorsements and earned $7.8 million, making him one of the highest-paid tennis players at the time. Heading into the Open, he’s earned just under $20 million on the court.
- Net Worth: $12M
Spanish tennis player Garbiñe Muguruza is currently ranked No. 10 among women tennis players. Muguruza rose to fame in 2015 when she won a WTA title, finished No. 3 overall and was runner-up at Wimbledon against Serena Williams. About a year later, she defeated Williams to win the French Open in 2016. She then defeated Venus Williams in the 2017 Wimbledon title match to claim her second Grand Slam victory.
Over the course of her career, Muguruza has earned more than $22 million in prize money. She has also become an ambassador for Mazda Spain and BBVA in 2014.
- Net Worth: $14M
Currently ranked No. 6 in the world, Dominic Thiem has yet to win a Slam, but he did make it to the finals of both the 2020 Australian Open and the 2019 French Open. According to Forbes, the Austrian endorses brands like Adidas, Rolex, and Red Bull. On the court, he’s earned nearly $29 million.
- Net Worth: $16M
Fresh off her victory at Wimbledon, Ashleigh Barty is the No. 1 ranked women’s tennis player in the world. The 25-year-old Australian also won the French Open in 2019 along with 13 singles titles. Five of those singles titles — along with nearly $3.8 million of her $21,359,751 career prize money — are from this year alone.
- Net Worth: $24M
Czech star Petra Kvitová has won $33,156,297 million in prize money throughout her career. The powerhouse left-hander, currently ranked No. 11, has won two Wimbledon titles and 28 singles titles. But as successful as Kvitová is, her career almost ended in 2016 when she was injured in a knife attack that severely damaged her hand.
- Net Worth: $24M
One of the best-known players among Japan’s crop of stars, Kei Nishikori is a 12-time ATP World Tour winner and the No. 9-ranked male tennis player in the world. Nishikori has won $24,856,447 in prize money throughout his career.
He earned $32.1 million in 2020, according to Forbes, thanks to partnerships with companies like Nissin, Procter & Gamble, and Japan Airlines. He has his own branded Jaguar, his own noodles, and his own non-alcoholic beer. At the U.S. Open in 2014, he became the first Asian player to reach the finals of a Grand Slam.
- Net Worth: $25M
In terms of women’s tennis superstars, Serena Williams has passed the torch to Naomi Osaka both on the court and in the realm of making money. In May 2020, Forbes reported that Osaka had eclipsed the great Serena Williams as the highest-earning woman athlete in the world when the then-22-year-old earned $37.4 million compared to Serena’s $36 million. The following year, Osaka beat Serena at the Australian Open.
A superstar with four Grand Slam titles — including the U.S. Open and Australian Open back-to-back — she is the first Asian player to hold the No. 1 singles ranking and the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam event. She has more than 20 corporate partners, according to Forbes, including Louis Vuitton and Airbnb.
- Net Worth: $30M
Although she’s fallen back to No. 13 now, Simona Halep was never out of the top-five rankings between 2014-2020. She won Wimbledon in 2019, the French Open in 2018, and was runner-up to Caroline Wozniacki at the Australian Open that same year. She’s also earned an impressive 22 WTA singles titles, six of which she won in 2013.
A few years back, she dropped her endorsement with Adidas and signed with Nike in a deal reportedly worth $2 million. Halep has won a total of $37,577,748 in prize money.
- Net Worth: $30M
German-born Angelique Kerber has won 13 WTA singles titles and three Grand Slam titles, including both the Australian and U.S. Open in 2016, and Wimbledon in 2018. She has scored a total of $30,881,274 in prize money and earned quite a few million dollars in endorsement deals.
Kerber earned $5 million in sponsorship money in one year, Forbes reported in 2017, which made her one of the highest-paid tennis players that year, when she was ranked No. 1 in the world. In addition, Kerber earned an estimated $3 million from prize money and $4 million from endorsements in one year, Forbes reported in 2018.
Venus Williams joined her sister, Serena, along with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in withdrawing from the US Open in what promises to be the most start-studded sideline in the event’s history. The last time a Grand Slam was played with that entire crew absent was in the late 1990s, when the arrival of the Williams sisters changed the sport of women’s tennis forever.
Venus Williams has won seven major titles, including five Wimbledon victories and two at the U.S. Open. Her corporate sponsorships include Kraft, EA, Wilson, Tide, and Ralph Lauren, according to Forbes.
- Net Worth: $100M
Although Andy Murray is no longer ranked among the top 100, he is still an elite force on the court and a human cash register.
In 2013, he made history as the first male Brit since 1936 to win Wimbledon. He returned in 2016 to take home the Wimbledon trophy for a second time when he defeated Milos Raonic.
Murray has earned a total of $62,051,232 in prize money and his brand deals included Under Armour, Standard Life, Head and Jaguar, according to Forbes.
- Net Worth: $210M
Serena Williams’s announcement that she’ll be sitting out the U.S. Open likely signals the end of her astonishing career, according to ESPN — and what a career it has been. Her name will go down in history with Graf, Evert, and Navratilova as one of the greatest of all time.
Although she’s since been passed by Naomi Osaka on both fronts, Serena Williams long held the title of the No. 1 ranked women’s tennis player in the world and the highest-paid female athlete. Her 23 Grand Slam titles are a record among both men and women, and her record $94 million in career earnings is more than double that of her next-closest rival, according to Forbes. But her real money comes from her more than 20 corporate contracts and legendary business prowess.
- Net Worth: $200M
As the No. 5-ranked men’s tennis player in the world, Rafael Nadal has joined his rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in dominating 21st-century tennis so thoroughly that only a smattering of other men has been able to win anything worth winning in the last 15 years or so.
The Spaniard has won $121 million over the course of his two-decade career, according to Forbes, but he earns nearly double his on-court pay through corporate contracts and celebrity endorsement deals, which include partnerships with Nike, Kia, and Santander.
- Net Worth: $220M
Ranked No. 1 in the world among male tennis players, Novak Djokovic has won 20 majors, which ties him with his rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most ever. Three of those victories were the most recent French Open, Australian Open, and Wimbledon, which he won consecutively in 2021.
That means if he wins the U.S. Open, Djokovic will leap over Nadal and Federer to win his 21st major and become only the seventh player in history to win the Grand Slam — all four major tournaments in one calendar year — since Don Budge first did it in 1938. No one has done it since Steffi Graff in 1988.
Djokovic has earned $148 million on the court, more than any other player in history.
- Net Worth: $450M
Roger Federer just might be the best male tennis player ever to walk onto the court — but his status as a cash cow goes way beyond just tennis. He was the highest-paid athlete in the world across all sports in 2020, according to Forbes. With $90 million in 2021 alone, he’s No. 7 now.
The lion’s share of his riches comes from endorsement deals, including those with Wilson, Mercedes-Benz, Rolex and Lindt. On the court, he’s won $130 million after winning a record-tying 20 Grand Slam titles and spending a record 302 weeks ranked No. 1 in the world.
Taylor Bell contributed to the reporting for this article.
Net worth figures were sourced from Celebrity Net Worth unless otherwise noted.
Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. An award-winning writer, Andrew was formerly one of the youngest nationally distributed columnists for the largest newspaper syndicate in the country, the Gannett News Service. He worked as the business section editor for amNewYork, the most widely distributed newspaper in Manhattan, and worked as a copy editor for TheStreet.com, a financial publication in the heart of Wall Street’s investment community in New York City.