Novak Djokovic has jumped ahead of Roger Federer in career prize money following his stunning US Open triumph over Juan Martin del Potro.
Remarkably, that’s despite still trailing his Swiss rival by six grand slam titles and 27 overall.
The Serbian defeated his Argentine rival in straight sets on Monday (AEST) to claim his 14th major, drawing level with Pete Sampras.
FRIENDS FOREVER: Fans erupt over Djokovic’s beautiful moment of sportsmanship
But Djokovic, who will rise to No.3 in the world rankings tomorrow, now sits alone at the top of the prize money list.
Federer entered the US Open on top with $117,507,812 in ATP earnings, with Djokovic sitting nearby on $115,310,890.
The door to a swap was opened when the Swiss was knocked out by Australian John Millman in the fourth round.
That defeat confirmed Federer’s prize as a mere $266,000.
Djokovic kept winning – bumping his earnings to $475,000 when he reached the quarter-finals and $925,000 in the semis.
While he was guaranteed at least $1.85 million for reaching the final, it was the $3.8m victory cheque that put Djokovic ahead of Federer.
The Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd ooh’d and aah’d as the prize was announced and handed over in an envelope to Djokovic, who has now earned $119,110,890 in his career.
Federer, with $115,576,890, remains second by a comfortable margin over Rafael Nadal, who has earned $103,251,975 following his semi-final exit in New York.
Three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray is fourth with $61,024,985, while Sampras is fifth with $43,280,489 thanks to his unmatched run of success throughout the 1990s.
Despite boasting ‘only’ 71 titles to Federer’s 98, Djokovic’s more recent success has literally paid off.
Grand slam prize money has exploded in the past decade, a movement favouring the newest champions on tour.
Where Federer won the majority of his grand slams between 2003 and 2010, the Serbian won his first in 2008 and then ramped up his success from 2011.
He spent time ahead of Federer on the all-time money list during that period and was the first of the two to break the $100m barrier.
The disparity in Masters 1000 titles – the richest tournaments below the grand slams – has also played its part.
Since the beginning of 2014, Djokovic has won 15 to Federer’s five.
All figures quoted in US dollars