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The 10 Highest Earning Players Of 2020

UbiTennis looks at the biggest prize money winners on both the men’s and women’s Tour this year.

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During a season that has been blighted by the COVID-19 pandemic more than 20 players have still managed to earn over $1 million in prize money.

 

Seven out of the 10 highest earners this year have been on the men’s Tour with Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem being the only players to surpass the $6 million mark. Although the ATP and WTA are separate organisations with their own prize money distribution structures so to some extent it is hard to directly compare the two. Grand Slams are the only level of tournament where the winnings are consistently equal for both genders.

Here are the 10 highest earners, according to data provided by both the ATP and WTA.

1) Novak Djokovic – $6,511,233 (including $76,075 from doubles)
Titles won: 4
Win-loss record: 41-5
Biggest payout: Australian Open ($4,120,000 in Australian dollars)

Once again Novak Djokovic has come out on top of the list of the highest earners. He has triumphed at the Australian Open, Dubai Tennis Championships, Cincinnati Masters and Italian Open. Djokovic’s tally would have been even greater if he hadn’t got disqualified from the US Open for accidentally hitting a lines judge with the ball during his fourth round match against Pablo Carreno Busta. The incident resulted in him losing his prize money won at the tournament. The world No.1 holds the record for most money earned by a tennis player ($145.6 million).

2) Dominic Thiem – $6,030,756 (including $5,880 from doubles)
Titles won: 1
Win-loss: 29-9
Biggest payout: US Open ($3,000,000)

Almost half of Thiem’s winnings occurred at the US Open where he came back from two sets down to defeat Alexander Zverev and win his first major title at the age of 27. Should he continue his surge next year he is projected to rise into the all-time top 10 for prize money earned in men’s tennis. Thiem is currently in 11th place and is just $124,000 behind Marin Cilic.

3) Sofia Kenin – 4,302,970 (including $115,389 from doubles)
Titles won: 2
Win-loss: 23-8
Biggest Payout: Australian Open ($2,854,381)

Kenin is the only member of the top 10 to have earned more than $100,000 from playing doubles. Although it is in the Grand Slams where she has excelled by winning the Australian Open in January followed by reaching the final of the French Open in October. Her run at those two events resulted in her winning $3,794,432 alone.

4) Rafael Nadal – $3,881,202 (including $25,075 from doubles)
Titles won: 2
Win-loss: 27-7
Biggest payout: French Open ($1,768,468)

World No.2 Nadal once again reigned supreme at Roland Garros by lifting the title for an historic 13th time. He has played in just seven tournaments this season (including the ATP Cup) but he reached the quarter-finals or better at all of them. Besides the French Open, he also won a title in Acapulco which rewarded him a payment of $372,785.

5) Daniil Medvedev $3,622,891 (including $15,221 from doubles)
Titles won: 2
Win-loss: 28-10
Biggest payout: ATP Finals ($1,564,000)

A blistering end to 2020 saw Medvedev quickly rise up the ranks in terms of both points and money. A sensational run in November saw the Russian score seven wins over top 10 players as he claimed titles in Paris and at the ATP Finals. It was at his last tournament where Medvedev defeated the world’s top three players in the same week for the first time.

6) Naomi Osaka – 3,352,755
Titles won: 1
Win-loss: 16-3
Biggest payout: US Open ($3,000,000)

Thank goodness for the US Open otherwise Osaka would have been nowhere near to the top 10. Her New York win equates to a whopping 89% of her total earnings this year despite it being the fourth tournament she played in. She also reached the final of the Western and Southern Open, semi-final of the Brisbane International and third round of the Australian Open. Osaka is the only player on the list to have earned all of her prize money from singles competition alone.

Earlier this year Forbes named Osaka the highest earning female athlete in the world. Their findings also takes into account endorsements.

7) Alexander Zverev $3,279,966 (including $24,889 from doubles)
Titles won: 2
Win-loss: 28-11
Biggest payout: US Open ($1,500,000)

The US Open brought heartbreak to Zverev who was on the verge of claiming his first Grand Slam title before losing in five sets to Thiem. However, on the plus side it also provided him with $1.5M in funds. This year the German has won two titles in Cologne, which held back-to-back events. However, those two titles only equated to just under 28,000 euros in prize money. He also reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open and the final of the Paris Masters.

8) Iga Switek – $2,261,213 (including $73, 626 from doubles)
Titles won: 14-5
Win-loss: 1
Biggest payout: French Open ($1,768,468)

Poland’s Switek is the youngest player inside the top 10 at the age of 19. Her fairytale run to the French Open title has established her as one of the future stars of women’s tennis. Her earnings this season works out to be 77% of what she has earned so far in her entire career as a professional player. Besides the French Open, she also reached the fourth round of the Australian Open.

9) Andrey Rublev $2,223,865 (including $54,378 from doubles)
Titles won: 5
Win-loss: 41-10
Biggest payout: US Open ($425,000)

Rublev has won more ATP titles than anybody else this year but has only just managed to scrape into the top 10. He has won two 250 and three 500 events over the past 12 months but none of those were his highest earning tournaments. Instead, it was his run to the quarter-finals of the US Open which rewarded him with $425,000. His career earnings currently stands at $6,666,124 which is 132nd on the ATP all-time list.

10) Stefanos Tsitsipas $2,106,450 (including 13,218 from doubles)
Titles won: 1
Win-loss: 29-14
Biggest payout: French Open (€425,250)

22-year-old Tsitsipas has won more matches than Nadal, Medvedev and Zverev this season. Although he is in 10th place due to his mixed performances in the majors. Besides reaching the quarter-finals of the French Open, where he made €425,250, he fell in the third round in both Australia and France. In February he won his only title of the season at the Open 13 in Marseille which rewarded him €116,030 in earnings.

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‘I Play For Grand Slams’ – Serena Williams Hails Quarantine Measures Ahead Of Australian Open

The tennis star gives her own view about the quarantine process in Australia.

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Former world No.1 Serena Williams has praised Australian authorities over their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic as she nears her return to professional tennis.

 

The multiple Grand Slam winner is currently conducting her 14-day quarantine process in Adelaide along with her team and family as part of the rules set out by Tennis Australia. All players have been kept inside what has been described as a ‘bubble’ for their first two weeks of arriving in the country before they are allowed to play any tournaments. Those who test positive or are a contact case of somebody who has tested positive for COVID-19 must stay in their rooms at all times.

As a result of the procedures, some players have complained about the conditions and how they have been treated. Spain’s Paula Badosa, who has the coronavirus, says she feels ‘abandoned’ by authorities. The world No.67 has been moved to a health hotel with her coach following the positive test. There has also been some complaints from others over their rooms, food and allegations of preferential treatment for those in Adelaide.

On the other hand, Williams says she has no problems with what she describes as a ‘super intense’ quarantine as she pays tribute to those running the system.

“It’s super, super strict, but it’s really good,” Williams told The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
“It’s insane and super intense but it’s super good because after that you can have a new normal like we were used to this time last year in the United States.
“It’s definitely hard with a three-year-old to be in the hotel all day, but it’s worth it because you want everyone to be safe at the end of the day.”

The 39-year-old will head to Melbourne Park next week with the goal of trying to tie the all-time record for most Grand Slam titles held by a singles player. It was at the Australian Open where she recorded her last major triumph back in 2017. However, since then Williams has only won one title which was at the ASB Classic 12 months ago. Although she did finish runner-up at four majors between 2018-2019.

“I play right now for Grand Slams and I love to have the opportunity to still be out there and to compete at this level,” she stated.
“It (the Australian Open) was one of my favourite slams growing up. I have so many friends in Melbourne, it’s really nice. Every time I win a Grand Slam it means the world to me so they are all really special.”

Williams’ Grand Slam tally currently stands at 23 which is one behind Margaret Court. Although Court won 13 of her titles prior to the start of the Open Era in 1968 which was when Grand Slams allowed professional players to compete with amateurs.

This Friday Williams will take on Naomi Osaka in the ‘Day at the Drive’ exhibition event in Adelaide.

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‘An Incredible Job’ – Nick Kyrgios Hails Strict Australian Open Quarantine Measures

The outspoken Australian also explains why he believes it is right to publicly criticise top names such as Novak Djokovic.

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Nick Kyrgios says he feels safer playing tennis than last year following a series of COVID-19 measures that have been implemented ahead of the Australian Open.

 

The former top-20 star has hailed the action taken by authorities which has triggered a somewhat mixed response from other players. Those playing in the first Grand Slam of the season are currently going through a 14-day quarantine with 72 players being unable to leave their room after being deemed a close contact of somebody who has tested positive for the virus. A series of positive tests was detected on flights en route to the country.

Although some players have criticised the process with allegations of poor room standards and preferential treatment for the top players who are currently based in Adelaide instead of Melbourne. Spain’s Paula Badosa tested positive for COVID-19 on the sixth day of her quarantine and had symptoms. In a recent interview with the Marca newspaper, Badosa says she feels ‘abandoned’ by authorities during what is the ‘worst experience’ of her career.

However, Kyrgios has hailed the comprehensive approach that has been taken by the authorities. He was one of the few players not to travel to Europe or North America during the second part of last year due to concerns related to the Pandemic. Compatriot Ash Barty was another to do the same.

“In Melbourne, with obviously the bubble, they’ve done an incredible job there. The authorities aren’t letting up and [are] making sure everyone is sticking by the rules,” Kyrgios told CNN.
“I actually feel quite safe. I didn’t really feel safe during last year, traveling and playing overseas, I thought it was a bit too soon to play.
“I think now the conditions are safe enough and everyone is going to work together and make sure we do it the right way.
“I don’t want to put anyone else at risk. I have loved ones that I don’t want to even have the chance to expose to Covid so I think it’s safe enough.”

Renowned for his at times fiery behaviour on the Tour and outspoken tone, the 25-year-old has no intention of changing his habits. Last summer he hit out at a series of his peers over their behaviour during the pandemic and blasted the Adria Tour. An exhibition series co-founded by Novak Djokovic which had to end early following an outbreak of the virus among players and staff members.

Djokovic is one of the players who Kyrgios has criticised the most in recent times. On January 18th he called the 17-time Grand Slam champion a ‘tool’ on Twitter after his letter to Craig Tiley was leaked to the public. Nevertheless, Kyrgios has no regrets over his comments as he feels it is vital to hold the top names accountable as he drew parallels between Djokovic and NBA great LeBron James.

I think it’s very important, especially one of the leaders of our sport. He’s technically our LeBron James,” he said.
“He has to set an example for all tennis players out there and set an example for tennis,”
added Kyrgios. “I think when he was doing some of the things that he was doing during the global pandemic, it just wasn’t the right time.
“I know everyone makes mistakes. Even some of us go off track sometimes but I think we need to hold each other accountable.
“I’m not doing any of this stuff for media attention, these are the morals that I’ve grown up with. I was just trying to do my part.”

Due to a combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and injury, Kyrgios hasn’t played a full competitive match on the ATP Tour since his fourth round loss to Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open almost a year ago.

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The Slow And Successful Rise Of Veronika Kudermetova

Let us look at the long path to success at high levels of the current Russian number two, who just finished as the runner-up in Abu Dhabi.

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Veronika Kudermetova - Roland Garros 2019 (foto Roberto Dell'Olivo)
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While waiting for the end of the Australian quarantine, UbiTennis continues our analysis of the players involved in the first tournament of the year, the WTA 500 in Abu Dhabi.

After the article dedicated to Ekaterina Alexandrova, I shall continue with the Russian line by discussing Veronika Kudermetova. For her, the week in the Emirates was a very positive one, given that for the first time in her career she managed to reach the final of a WTA 500 event (the new denomination of the Premier tournaments, which assign 470 points to the winner). During the tournament, Kudermetova defeated Kontaveit, Turati, Badosa, Svitolina and Kostyuk, losing only to Aryna Sabalenka (who, between the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, has an active winning streak of 15 matches). Veronika’s excellent moment is validated by the best ranking she achieved this week at N.36 – had she won the final, she would have become the Russian N.1, overtaking Alexandrova. 

 

It should be emphasized, however, that all the talk about the rankings is muddled by the rules introduced with the pandemic, rules that tend to maintain the status quo, and in fact disfavour up-and-coming players like Kudermetova. Had only the results obtained in 2020 been counted, Veronika would have ended the season ranked 29th instead of 46th. Then, by factoring in the final reached in the UAE last Wednesday, her spot in the Top 30 would have been cemented even further. It might seem senseless to keep referring to a virtual ranking based on past rules (which are slated to come back in March, though), but I think it helps to identify the players who are doing better, despite the many difficulties of the current period. In fact, we know that we are playing less than usual, and this makes it more difficult to build that momentum which, thanks to above average conditions of form and enthusiasm, translates into significant leaps in quality and standing.

As for Kudermetova, there are at least two aspects of her career that, in my opinion, make her particularly interesting: the difficulties she faced to find financial support in her teenage years, and the comparison with her peers born in 1997, a special year for women’s tennis. In fact, Veronika was born in the same year as successful and precocious players such as Bencic, Ostapenko and Osaka, as well as Konjuh (unfortunately stopped by injuries) and Kasatkina, her Russian “twin” with whom she shared the years on the junior tour. Let’s start from those years.

On page 2, Kudermetova’s beginnings 

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