Why Zverev Will Eclipse Legendary Sampras' Career Prize Money Despite Not Winning A Major

Why Zverev Will Eclipse Legendary Sampras' Career Prize Money Despite Not Winning A Major

by Nurein Ahmed

Alexander Zverev has forged a tennis career that he can be proud of, and at 26, there is still a lot more that he can achieve.

The German is embroiled in an off-court saga related to domestic abuse following allegations from former partner Brenda Patea and is due to appear in court later this year.

But while off-court disputes continue to overshadow Zverev's tennis accomplishments, it shouldn't go unnoticed by what he has already achieved this year.

Zverev was part of the German team that won the second edition of the United Cup. He was the talisman in the squad, scoring a series of decisive wins during the tournament.

The 26-year-old would reach the Australian Open semifinal, where he stood within a set from reaching a second major final until his dramatic collapse against Daniil Medvedev.

But that hasn't stopped Zverev from becoming the second-highest earner on the ATP Tour in 2024. Recently, he became just the ninth player to attain the $40 million mark in career prize money.

He currently sits sixth in the all-time list behind Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, and Pete Sampras. Zverev has contested just one Grand Slam final in his career, which he lost at the 2020 US Open.

But remarkably, he trails Pete Sampras by slightly over $3 million in career earnings. Zverev will most likely surpass the legendary American in the next few months despite never winning a Grand Slam.

Sampras, for his part, has won 64 ATP titles, including 14 majors, which was a record in the late noughties until Roger Federer arrived on the scene and took the record in 2009.

But one of the primary reasons why Zverev ranks so high on the list is because of prize money disparities between the current era and that of the early 90s and 2000s.

Tennis has grown so much in the past few decades, and with its increased global popularity and viewership, it has attracted more sponsors, which had a sharp rise in revenues.

Additionally, the tennis prize money has been growing year-on-year because of economic variables such as inflation, with tournaments keen on ensuring that players' financial well-being is maintained in the wake of the rising cost of living.


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