Zhao Yunlei top badminton prize-winner of 2014

Badzine reveals today the list of the top 50 badminton earners based on the prize money which was awarded during the 2014 season for all Badminton World Federation (BWF) tournaments.  […]

Badzine reveals today the list of the top 50 badminton earners based on the prize money which was awarded during the 2014 season for all Badminton World Federation (BWF) tournaments.  The name at the top for this year is Zhao Yunlei.

Photos: Badmintonphoto

This year, it was the world’s top doubles player who pulled in the most cash.  Women’s and mixed doubles world #1 Zhao Yunlei (pictured left with Zhang Nan) was not only successful playing for prestige – taking two titles at the BWF World Championships and two golds and a bronze at the Asian Games – she also did well at badminton’s big money events, including picking up one winner’s cheque at each of the four most lucrative tournaments on the BWF World Superseries circuit.

This is only the third time that Badzine has compiled a list of the top prize winners but Zhao Yunlei is both the first woman and the first doubles player to come out on top.  Second in 2014 was Zhao’s compatriot Chen Long, who was only slightly behind her with US$225,825 in total winnings.  The top ten was divided with six men and four women and also with six players from China and four from the rest of the world.

Zhao’s 2014 total was substantially lower than that of 2013 leader Lee Chong Wei, who was the only one over the US$200,000 mark last year but fell to #8 on the 2014 list after not collecting any prize money in the second half of the year.  However, there seemed to be more money to go around this year as three more shuttlers than last year were in six figure range and the player who now occupies the #50 spot won nearly $11,000 more than did his 2013 counterpart.  (click here for the complete 2013 list)

European badminton players did not fare as well this year.  Although European representation in the top 20 doubled from one to two, Christinna Pedersen fell from her top ten position in 2013 to #20 in the 2014 standings.  She was the second-highest European prize-winner behind #18 on the list, compatriot Jan O. Jorgensen (pictured right with #21 Kidambi Srikanth of India).  Europe again had six players in the top 50 but this year, all six were from Denmark.

Women’s singles World Champion Carolina Marin (pictured below) of Spain was one of three singles players currently in the top ten in the world rankings who were not among the fifty ‘richest’ badminton players in 2014.  The highest-ranked shuttlers to be outside the top 50 in winnings were men’s doubles #3 Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa of Japan.

Winnings, but not earnings

Unlike the figures presented by Forbes magazine for the richest tennis players, for example, the numbers presented here are quite specific.  These calculations do not take into account sponsorship money, nor do they include national team salaries or any other support from national associations for a player’s training, accommodation, or travel expenses.   Instead, the Badzine list counts only the prize money awarded to players for BWF-sanctioned tournaments, before taxes and/or percentages that may be kept by some players’ national associations.

Top 50 Badminton Prize Winners2014

Rank Player National Association Total Prize Money (USD)
1 Zhao Yunlei CHN 246,144
2 Chen Long CHN 225,825
3 Li Xuerui CHN 204,050
4 Yoo Yeon Seong KOR 185,231
5 Zhang Nan CHN 170,069
6 Lee Yong Dae KOR 168,094
7 Saina Nehwal IND 156,000
8 Lee Chong Wei MAS 150,075
9 Wang Shixian CHN 145,550
10 Lin Dan CHN 135,200
11 Tai Tzu Ying TPE 134,375
12 Wang Yihan CHN 131,013
13 Ma Jin CHN 124,738
14 Tian Qing CHN 114,069
15 Misaki Matsutomo JPN 113,912
16 Ayaka Takahashi JPN 113,699
17 Sung Ji Hyun KOR 112,648
18 Jan O. Jorgensen DEN 107,288
19 Bao Yixin CHN 102,019
20 Christinna Pedersen DEN 96,491
21 Kidambi Srikanth IND 94,048
22 Yu Yang CHN 91,688
23 Kim Ha Na KOR 89,057
24 Xu Chen CHN 86,819
25 Wang Xiaoli CHN 84,831
26 Ratchanok Intanon THA 84,038
27 Ko Sung Hyun KOR 80,190
28 Son Wan Ho KOR 75,845
29 Tontowi Ahmad INA 70,719
30 Liliyana Natsir INA 70,106
31 Tang Jinhua CHN 67,709
32 Luo Ying CHN 66,875
33 Hong Wei CHN 66,209
34 Carsten Mogensen DEN 63,949
35 Mathias Boe DEN 63,949
36 Joachim Fischer Nielsen DEN 63,691
37 Luo Yu CHN 63,619
38 Simon Santoso INA 63,325
39 Kenichi Tago JPN 61,475
40 Hans-Kristian Vittinghus DEN 58,835
41 Chai Biao CHN 57,934
42 Liu Xin CHN 57,888
43 Akane Yamaguchi JPN 57,550
44 Hendra Setiawan INA 56,325
45 Mohammad Ahsan INA 56,325
46 Huang Yaqiong CHN 52,564
47 Tang Yuanting CHN 50,971
48 Lu Kai CHN 50,203
49 Liu Cheng CHN 49,909
50 Chou Tien Chen CHN 49,595

All calculations have been done using the data from the official BWF World Rankings, published on the tournamentsoftware.com website.  All BWF events have been included in this calculation, including Superseries events, Grand Prix events, the Badminton Asia Championships, and International Challenges, where applicable.  Any extra income from private sponsorships, endorsements,  invitational tournaments, such as the Copenhagen Masters, and private leagues such as those in Indonesia, Malaysia, and China have been excluded from this list. For doubles pairs, it is assumed that the pair splits money equally between the players.

Click here to download the full list of top 50 earners

Excel Programming: Kira Rin / Badzine
Data Compilation: Badzine Staff

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @ badzine.net