Coaches of top tennis players are under pressure to produce results just like the players. But how much do they make?
A typical coach who travels with a player year-round makes between $100,000 to $150,000 per year. But the contractual arrangement between the coach and the player varies widely.
To align incentives, top players pay their coaches based on results. Top players (think Top 50 in world rankings) pay around 10% of their tournament earnings as salary to their coaches. It can be as high as 15% in some cases where the coach is a former top tennis player himself (eg. Stefan Edberg) or is a highly sought-after coach (eg. Brad Gilbert). The player does not share sponsorship earnings with the coach. Physiotherapists and other staff are paid separately.
In a good year, a top player like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, or Rafael Nadal can win multiple grand slams and Masters titles. A top player’s on-court earnings can sometimes top $10 million a year (a grand slam champion makes $3 million+). In that case, the coach makes over $1 million dollars.
In some rare cases, the country’s national tennis federation may chip in and pay some or all of the coach’s salary. Players do not share their sponsorship earnings with the coaches.
When it comes to on-court earnings, tennis is a top-loaded sport. Lower ranked players make a fraction of what the Top 10 players earn.
Lower-ranked players pay a flat salary per week or month to their coaches. There may also be an occasional bonus if the player reaches the final or wins the tournament.
Coaches get their travel and accommodation expenses paid for by the players. Some lower-tier players share coaches to save money.