On Sunday, Rafael Nadal picked up his 11th French Open victory. The victory saw him break the $100 million barrier in terms of career prize money.
The world No 1 took a straight-sets victory over Austria’s Dominic Thiem in the final of Roland Garros. The 2018 French Open title was his 17th Grand Slam crown, trailing only Roger Federer’s 20-major tally.
Now, in the wake of the Grand Slam, Nadal’s career earnings are now at $100.5m. This puts him third on the all-time list, behind Roger Federer ($116.2m) and Novak Djokovic ($110.9m).
By contrast, the top earning female tennis player is American star Serena Williams with $84.8m. Behind her is a large gap to her sister Venus in second on the all-time list with $40.5m. Russia’s Maria Sharapova currently sits third with $37.9m.
This has highlighted the huge pay gap between the men and the women. The pay gap has long been a subject of discussion on both ends. The female athletes have been demanding a higher amount of prize money for them to match their male counterparts.
Coming back to the subject of Nadal’s win, the Spaniard would love to surpass arch-rival Roger Federer in titles and career prize money.
“You can’t be frustrated if somebody has more money than you, if somebody has a bigger house than you, if somebody has more Grand Slams than you,” Nadal said. “I’d love to have 20 like Roger in the future or more, but it is not something in my mind. I know I’ve had an amazing career so I want to keep fighting for these things.” Federer opted to skip the clay-court season for the second successive year. But he will return for the grass-court season which culminates at Wimbledon next month.
Nadal will be the top seed at Wimbledon, where Federer also makes a return on the grass court after missing the clay court season for the second successive year.