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

Aug 2, 2020 - Sports

More athletes opt out as U.S. struggles with coronavirus

The Los Angeles Dodgers play against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 31 in Phoenix. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

A growing number of pro athletes in the U.S. are opting out of the 2020 season, or league restarts, citing concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The pandemic continues to disrupt the world of sports, despite many fans hoping that a return for the major leagues would spell some semblance of normalcy for other aspects of life.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 4,793,950 — Total deaths: 157,416 — Total recoveries: 1,528,979 — Total tests: 58,239,438Map.
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  4. Public health: Florida surpasses 500,000 confirmed casesModerna skirts disclosures of vaccine costs.
  5. Sports: The return of high school sports hangs in the balance — UConn becomes first FBS team to cancel football season.
  6. Education: Chicago Public Schools to begin school year fully remote.
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Beirut explosion: Death toll rises to 135, officials under house arrest

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What we know: The government says around 5,000 people are injured. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said current indications are that the massive explosion was accidental, despite President Trump's puzzling claim on Tuesday evening that it appeared to be a bomb attack.