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http://www.forbes.com/sport/2005/08/31/sport-tennis-powerful-players_cz_kb_mr_0831players.html

Sport
The World's Most Powerful Tennis Players
Kurt Badenhausen, 08.31.05, 12:00 PM ET

Power in the game of tennis is usually measured by the speed of the serve or the force of a player's ground strokes. By these measures, Andy Roddick would be considered the most powerful tennis player thanks to his world record 155-mile-per-hour serve in last year's Davis Cup and his tour-leading 758 aces this year. On the women's side, Venus Williams holds the record for fastest serve at 128 miles per hour.

At Forbes.com, we measure power in terms of the money you make and the media exposure you get. From that standpoint, 18-year-old Maria Sharapova is tennis' most powerful player. She's only won one Grand Slam tournament (last year's Wimbledon) compared to seven for Serena Williams. But the 6-foot 1-inch Russian has secured $15 million in annual endorsement income, and her cover girl good looks make her popular on the Web and with magazine editors.

In putting together our list, we used the methodology from our annual list of the world's most powerful celebrities. We looked at the highest-paid men and women in tennis over the past 12 months. We totaled prize money, appearance fees and endorsement income.

We then looked at their media exposure as measured by Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) hits, press clips and TV and radio mentions. Lastly, we took into account appearances on the cover of three tennis magazines: Tennis, Tennis Life and Tennis Week.


Prize money for our list of ten players was $26 million over the past 12 months, or just 22% of their total income. The bulk of the income for the top players is from endorsements, with shoe and clothing deals leading the way. The past year has seen unprecedented turnover in these deals for the top players. Sharapova's deal with Nike (nyse: NKE - news - people ) surged thanks to her Wimbledon win. Nike has the two top-ranked players in the men's game, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, under contract, so, after 17 years, it cut ties with Andre Agassi. Reebok (nyse: RBK - news - people ) dropped its top player, Andy Roddick, who moved onto Lacoste. Venus Williams, who signed a $7 million a year deal with Reebok in 2000, still wears the company's sneakers and clothing--even though Reebok didn't pick up the option on her contract. While many top players are losing their deals, Anna Kournikova, who hasn't played a professional match in more than two years, still cashes checks from Adidas.

Maria Sharapova
Age: 18
Birthplace: Russia
World Rank: No. 1
Pay: $18.2 million
Web Hits: 829,000
Press Clips: 18,057
TV/Radio: 112
Covers: 6
Sharapova signed nine deals with the likes of Canon, Colgate-Palmolive and Motorola after her Wimbledon win last year. Critics say that all of these deals detract from her tennis. But this year, she's won three events and became the first Russian ever--man or woman--to be ranked number one in the world.

Roger Federer
Age: 24
Birthplace: Switzerland
World Rank: No. 1
Pay: $14 million
Web Hits: 563,000
Press Clips: 24,396
TV/Radio: 103
Covers: 6
Federer eschews an agent when it comes to cutting deals with the likes of Nike, Wilson and Emmi. His family handles his business affairs. On the court, he's dominated his rivals since the start of 2004. Last year, he became the first man since 1988 to win three Grand Slam titles in one year. This year, he's won nine tournaments and compiled a match record of 64 wins against only three losses.

Serena Williams
Age: 23
Birthplace: Saginaw, MI
World Rank: No. 8
Pay: $12.7 million
Web Hits: 939,000
Press Clips: 18,429
TV/Radio: 201
Covers: 4
When she is healthy, the youngest Williams sister is among the top players in the game. But for the past two years, injuries have derailed the former number one player. Nike is her biggest endorsement deal, and the company pays her close to $5 million a year to wear everything from hot pants to knee-high boots on the court.

Andre Agassi
Age: 35
Birthplace: Las Vegas
World Rank: No. 7
Pay: $26.2 million
Web Hits: 521,000
Press Clips: 16,082
TV/Radio: 69
Covers: 1
In 2004, tennis's elder statesman became the oldest player to finish in the top ten since Jimmy Connors in 1988. His $30 million in career prize money is second all-time, behind Pete Sampras. Agassi's ten-year contract with Nike that ended this year was worth $140 million when you factor in the appreciation of Nike stock he was granted. He's now serving for Adidas, just like his wife Steffi Graf. Other endorsement deals are with Genworth Financial, Head and Estee Lauder's Aramis brand.

Andy Roddick
Age: 22
Birthplace: Omaha, NE
World Rank: No. 4
Pay: $9.7 million
Web Hits: 718,000
Press Clips: 21,507
TV/Radio: 120
Covers: 4
Roddick's income will jump over the next 12 months thanks to new deals with Lacoste and Lexus. The Lacoste deal alone could be worth as much as $30 million over five years. Roddick also has deals with American Express, Babolat and Parlux Fragrances. America's top-ranked player has won 19 singles titles during his career.

Lleyton Hewitt
Age: 24
Birthplace: Australia
World Rank: No. 3
Pay: $10.3 million
Web Hits: 299,000
Press Clips: 19,806
TV/Radio: 43
Covers: 2
The former world-number one has won $16 million in prize money during his career. Australia's highest-paid sportsman played under the Nike banner his entire career until his latest contract expired this year. He recently signed a three-year clothing and footwear deal with Japanese sporting-goods firm Yonex.

Venus Williams
Age: 25
Birthplace: Lynwood, Calif.
World Rank: No. 10
Pay: $6.5 million
Web Hits: 707,000
Press Clips: 13,344
TV/Radio: 82
Covers: 2
Just when the tennis world was starting to think Venus was done competing for major titles; she goes out and wins her fifth Grand Slam and third Wimbledon in July. It was her first Grand Slam championship since 2001. Injuries and inconsistent play cost Williams her valuable Reebok deal, but another Grand Slam win and sponsors will be lining up at her door once again.

Rafael Nadal
Age: 19
Birthplace: Mallorca
World Rank: No. 2
Pay: $7.2 million
Web Hits: 366,000
Press Clips: 12,533
TV/Radio: 15
Covers: 3
Nadal is the hottest thing to hit tennis in years. He started the year ranked 51 in the world and has shot to number two thanks to nine tournament titles. His Nike tennis outfits have added to his appeal. They include clamdigger-style pants and sleeveless shirts that showcase the teen's muscles.

Lindsey Davenport
Age: 29
Birthplace: Palos Verdes, Calif.
World Rank: No. 2
Pay: $6 million
Web Hits: 210,000
Press Clips: 16,445
TV/Radio: 48
Covers: 1
With $20 million in career-prize money, Davenport is on the verge of becoming the all-time leading money winner in women's tennis. She finished 2004 ranked number one in the world, which kicked in valuable bonuses from sponsors like Nike and Wilson.

Anna Kournikova
Age: 24
Birthplace: Russia
World Rank: Not Ranked
Pay: $5 million
Web Hits: 936,000
Press Clips: 2,841
TV/Radio: 63
Covers: 0
Despite not playing on the WTA Tour in more than two years, Kournikova, who is still not officially retired, is still the fifth highest-paid women's player thanks to lucrative deals with Adidas and Berlei bras. Kournikova famously never won a singles tournament, but she did manage to win 16 doubles titles during her career.
 

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But this year, she's won three events and became the first Russian ever--man or woman--to be ranked number one in the world.

Huh? Kafelnikov and Safin might disagree with that.
 

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foul_dwimmerlaik said:
But this year, she's won three events and became the first Russian ever--man or woman--to be ranked number one in the world.

Huh? Kafelnikov and Safin might disagree with that.
:lol:

that line made me laugh as well.
 

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foul_dwimmerlaik said:
But this year, she's won three events and became the first Russian ever--man or woman--to be ranked number one in the world.

Huh? Kafelnikov and Safin might disagree with that.
Yevgeny and Marat who?
 

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foul_dwimmerlaik said:
But this year, she's won three events and became the first Russian ever--man or woman--to be ranked number one in the world.

Huh? Kafelnikov and Safin might disagree with that.
That's what I was thinking.
 

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Lindsay :bowdown:
 

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Nice to see Roger up there, even if he doesnt care about gobbling as much sponsor money as other players
 

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^^^
No kidding, right? Well done, Anna.

And I love that Lleyton -- the so-called most hated, unpopular player on the planet -- is on this list. :lol:
 

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NYCtennisfan said:
I love how Anna is on the list and making millions of dollars for doing nothing. Talk about living the dream.
I guess being the barbie girl in a barbie world motto isnt such a bad thing! Dang $5 mill for being blond and having a long pony tail!!!!!!! :rolleyes: :p
 

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I don't understand in what ways Sharapova is a great marketing tool because most people who would see her in a TV ad don't know who she is. She spells her name in tennis balls on a fence but the average American will still say, "Maria who?" Her face is just rather ordinary no matter how they try to make her up. She is no more of a hottie than Kirsten Dunst, or Reese Witherspoon. What's the deal? She might be getting sponsorship dollars but does she really increase their sales?

I don't think she has the chrisma that Kournikova has/had.
 

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maria is a buttaface. i dont find her pretty at all. she's such a boring player too. i hope somebody comes along who has the truly pretty face and an excellent game to boot.
 

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GeorgeWHitler said:
Yevgeny and Marat who?
Yevgeny, the world's top golfer.
 

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so Agassi has made $140,000,000 from Nike over the years...
not bad i suppose :eek:
 

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This whole concept is a bit screwy, but given that even the numbers are wrong. When AA ended his association w/Nike this spring, they wrote him a $40Million dollar check.
 

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PamV said:
I don't understand in what ways Sharapova is a great marketing tool because most people who would see her in a TV ad don't know who she is. She spells her name in tennis balls on a fence but the average American will still say, "Maria who?" Her face is just rather ordinary no matter how they try to make her up. She is no more of a hottie than Kirsten Dunst, or Reese Witherspoon. What's the deal? She might be getting sponsorship dollars but does she really increase their sales?

I don't think she has the chrisma that Kournikova has/had.
I agree, all my friends don't find her attractive but can't figure out her name, either.

They assume she plays tennis, they told me they thought she was just a simple model spokesperson. But now they don't understand how she could be a model :rolleyes: . I forgot to inform them that she does have the height.

LOL
 
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