Tennis stars, led by Federer, land on ESPN's World Fame 100 list

The 17-time Grand Slam champion came in at fifth, Nadal at 10th, Djokovic at 16th and Sharapova at 18th. (AP)

Among tennis players, Roger Federer headlines ESPN’s World Fame 100 list. Though absent from the French Open in Paris, he ranks just behind Cristiano Ronaldo, LeBron James, Lionel Messi and Neymar.

Rafael Nadal, who is currently nursing a wrist injury and will miss the Aegon Championships held at the Queen’s Club, also appears in the Top 10. Among female athletes, the currently-sidelined Maria Sharapova is tops, appearing at No. 18. The Russian is a few spots ahead of No. 25 Serena Williams.

“Writers pen love letters to you, saying that seeing you play tennis is like a religious experience,” says the ESPN write-up on Federer, referencing David Foster Wallace’s iconic essay about the Swiss Maestro. “Even your rivals can’t bring themselves to hate you, you’re so darn nice.”

Of Sharapova, ESPN wrote, “At the news conference called to reveal her failed drug test, only Sharapova could inform those who had thought she was going to hang up her racquet: ‘If I was ever going to announce my retirement, it would probably not be in a downtown Los Angeles hotel with this fairly ugly carpet.’ Ah, that icy Siberian majesty.”

Other ATP and WTA touring pros who made the cut include No. 16 Novak Djokovic, No. 31 Andy Murray, No. 41 Sania Mirza, No. 47 Kei Nishikori and No. 74 Venus Williams. The findings were based on a formula developed by ESPN’s director of sports analytics. It incorporated such metrics as social-media following, prize money and endorsements.

Follow Jon on Twitter @jonscott9 

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