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Roger Federer Reigns Supreme As Top-Earning Athlete

Roger Federer has surpassed Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to become the highest paid athlete in the world, according to the annual Forbes list.

The Swiss star earnt $106.3 million in the past year, on his way to becoming the first tennis player to top the list.

The top five is rounded out with Ronaldo ($105 million), Messi ($104 million), Neymar ($95.5 million), and LeBron James ($88.2 million).

This comes after the COVID-19 pandemic forced several sporting stars to take wage cuts with their respective competitions either suspended or cancelled.

For Federer, endorsement deals make up the vast majority of his earnings, with $100 million a year from his endorsement portfolio alone.

Forbes senior editor, Kurt Badenhausen, said the 20-time grand slam winner also managed to boost his earnings with a tour of North and South American late last year.

“The coronavirus pandemic triggered salary cuts for soccer stars Messi and Ronaldo, clearing the way for a tennis player to rank as the world’s highest-paid athlete for the first time,” Badenhausen said.

“Roger Federer is the perfect pitchman for companies, resulting in an unparalleled endorsement portfolio of blue-chip brands worth $100million a year for the tennis great,” he said.

Federer’s ranking means tennis reigns supreme for annual earnings for both male and female athletes, with Naomi Osaka ranking as the highest paid female athlete, with her $37.4 million earnings also placing her 29th overall for both male and female athletes.