Roger Federer becomes first tennis player to top Forbes highest paid athlete list

Roger Federer has become the first tennis player to reach the top of the Forbes top 100 highest paid athletes list since its creation in 1990.

Roger Federer celebrates eating John Millman Source: Associated Press

The Swiss tennis great is reported to have earned $US106.3 million ($NZ171.4 million) with just US$6.3 million ($NZ10.2 million) coming from salary or winnings.

The remaining $US100 million ($NZ161.2 million) comes from endorsements, with Federer boasting high profile sponsors such as Rolex and Mercedes Benz.

In 2018 Federer made headlines after signing a 10-year $US300 million ($NZ483.6 million) deal with Japanese clothing company Uniqlo. The deal ended a partnership spanning two decades with longtime sponsor Nike.

Tennis stars have dominated the top spot of this year's Forbes rankings, with Naomi Osaka also becoming the highest paid female athlete with $US37 million ($NZ59.6 million) in earnings, more than any other female athlete has earned in history. 

Osaka places 29th on the overall list.

Regular features comprise the top five with Cristiano Ronaldo ($NZ169 million), Lionel Messi ($NZ167.6 million), Neymar ($NZ153.9 million) and Lebron James ($NZ142.2 million) trailing behind Federer.

NBA newcomer, 19-year old Zion Williamson, also features on the list at number 57 with earnings of $US27.3 million ($NZ44 million).