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Data: Forbes; Table: Axios Visuals

The world's top 100 highest-paid athletes earned a combined $3.6 billion this year, which is down 9% from last year due to the coronavirus and marks the first decline since 2016, per Forbes' latest ranking.

Roger Federer took the No. 1 spot, edging past Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to become the first tennis player to top the rankings. He drew $100 million in endorsements from Uniqlo, Mercedes-Benz and others.

  • Naomi Osaka (#29) and Serena Williams (#33) both made the top 100, the first time since 2016 that multiple women were featured (Williams and Maria Sharapova).
  • Athletes from 21 countries made the cut, with the U.S. leading the way (68), followed by the U.K. (5), Spain (4), France (3), Brazil (2), Germany (2) and Japan (2). 14 other countries had one athlete each.

The big picture: "While more NBA players made the list than any other sport, NFL players had the best year as a group thanks to the season's late-summer start that has left them unaffected by the pandemic," Forbes' Kurt Badenhausen writes.

  • "In contrast, MLB players were the hardest hit following the postponement of Opening Day in March: only one professional baseball player, Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, made the cut, down from 15 in 2019."

Sport-by-sport breakdown:

  • Basketball: 35
  • Football: 31
  • Soccer: 14
  • Tennis: 6
  • Boxing: 4
  • Golf: 4
  • Racing: 3
  • Baseball: 1
  • MMA: 1
  • Cricket: 1

Go deeper

Updated Sep 1, 2020 - Sports

Naomi Osaka wears Breonna Taylor mask at U.S. Open

Tennis star Naomi Osaka said Monday night after wearing a mask bearing the name "Breonna Taylor" during her win over fellow Japanese player Misaki Doi she plans to highlight other names during the U.S. Open this tournament.

What she's saying: Osaka said after the match that she has seven face coverings with names in total. "It's quite sad that seven masks isn't enough for the amount of names," she said. "So hopefully I'll get to the final and you can see all of them."

Biden Cabinet confirmation schedule: When to watch hearings

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The first hearings for President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations begin on Tuesday, with testimony from his picks to lead the departments of State, Homeland and Defense.

Why it matters: It's been a slow start for a process that usually takes place days or weeks earlier for incoming presidents. The first slate of nominees will appear on Tuesday before a Republican-controlled Senate, but that will change once the new Democratic senators-elect from Georgia are sworn in.

Kamala Harris resigns from Senate seat ahead of inauguration

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Photo: Mason Trinca/Getty Images

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris submitted her resignation from her seat in the U.S. Senate on Monday, two days before she will be sworn into her new role.

What's next: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has selected California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to serve out the rest of Harris' term, which ends in 2022.