There were many great moments in tennis in 2019, such as when Rafael Nadal beat Dominic Thiem to win his 12th singles title at the Roland-Garros in June, or when Andy Murray teamed up with Serena Williams in Wimbledon’s mixed doubles to form an exciting new partnership that had the crowds going wild.
In terms of success, some players have earned a fortune in prize money over the past 12 months, with the top earners including some of the veterans of the circuit, in both the men’s and women’s singles.
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The most successful male tennis player of 2019 was Novak Djokovic, 32, who won prize money totalling £6.7 million. Despite his prize money, the Serbian finished the year ranked world number two by the Association of Tennis Professionals. He won a record seventh Australian Open title and fifth Wimbledon title in 2019.
In terms of winnings, the number two male player was Spaniard Rafael Nadal, 33, who won £6.1 million prize money. He was ranked world number one by the ATP at the end of 2019, after winning the French Open (the Roland-Garros) and the US Open. He also led Spain to victory at the Davis Cup Final, when he won all eight of his matches, in both the singles and doubles.
The third top-earner in men’s tennis was Swiss veteran Roger Federer, 38, the oldest player in the top rankings for 2019. He earned £4.3 million in prize money and was ranked number three in the world by the ATP. He won his 100th career singles title at the Dubai Tennis Championship, his fourth Miami Open title and he reached his 12th Wimbledon final.
Even though the top three men are in their 30s, they have all enjoyed remarkable form throughout 2019 and there are no rumours of impending retirement for any of them.
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On the women’s circuit, the highest earner was Japanese player Naomi Osaka, 22, who won prize money totalling £6.3 million. Ranked number one in the world, she won the Australian Open and the China Open and reached the finals of the Canadian Open and the Cincinnati Open. She is the first Asian woman to become world number one.
German player Angelique Kerber, 31, won a total of £4 million prize money in 2019. She reached the final of the mixed doubles with Alexander Zverev at the Hopman Cup and the women’s singles final at the Indian Wells Masters. She also reached the women’s singles semi-finals at the Qatar Open, the Monterrey Open and the Mallorca Open, but suffered injuries towards the end of the season.
Named by Forbes as the third highest-earning female athlete of 2019, after she signed sponsorship deals with many major brands such as Adidas, Procter and Gamble, Porsche and Rolex, she is also an ambassador for children’s charity UNICEF. On 4th December, it was revealed Kerber will play in the 2020 Adelaide International.
Another tennis veteran, 37-year-old American Serena Williams, won a total of £3.2 million in 2019. Plagued by injuries, she overcame adversity to reach the top ten in the women’s rankings. Although she did not win any major titles, she reached the final of the US Open.
She reached the Wimbledon singles final, but throughout the year suffered further injuries, including a sprained ankle and back spasms. Serena is planning to continue playing through 2020 but has also announced plans to launch a new clothing line, plus jewellery and beauty products.
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