Novak Djokovic may be the most famous Serbian athlete on the planet, but it’s the tiny principality of Monaco that he calls home.
Indeed, five of the ATP’s top-ten ranked players claim Monaco as their primary residency, and it’s easy to see why.
Located on the French Riviera, the 500-acre microstate enjoys more than 300 sunny days a year, it’s a short flight from several European capitals,
and it has access to top training facilities, including the famed Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, which is less than an hour away by car.
But there’s another advantage for star athletes and the ultra-rich. Monaco is a tax haven, with no personal income, capital gains or investment taxes.
For tennis’ top earners—such as Djokovic, ranked No. 1 on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid tennis players with estimated earnings of $38.4 million over the last 12 months—
the savings could be worth millions. In addition to the 23-time Grand Slam champion, Monaco is the primary residence of Russia’s Daniil Medvedev (the world’s No. 3 player),
Denmark’s Holger Rune (No. 5), Italy’s Janik Sinner (No. 6) and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas (No. 7). I come from Denmark, Rune tells Forbes, and it’s a great country but not a lot of tennis players.
So for me, the facilities and the players that are here [in Monaco] to practice with are really important because in Denmark I cannot get this kind of experience.”
The principality is also home to some of the best Formula 1 drivers, including Max Verstappen, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc—and it’s not just
because they want to practice for Monaco’s famed Grand Prix.
Many billionaires, both inside and outside of the sports world, also live there, including Everton F.C. owner Farhad Moshiri (with an estimated net worth of $3.1 billion),
Belgian sugar heir Eric Wittouck ($8 billion) and Israeli real estate and shipping magnate Eyal Ofer ($19.4 billion).
Of course, Djokovic wasn’t the first athlete to enjoy these financial benefits. Swedish tennis legend Björn Borg,
who won five straight Wimbledon titles and six additional majors at the French Open, spent more than a decade as a resident of Monte Carlo, dating to the late 1970s.
Following his retirement from the sport at 26, Borg eventually got into financial trouble with his fashion business,
moved back to Stockholm and narrowly avoided filing for personal bankruptcy after the Swedish government sought $40,000 in, yes, back taxes.
“It is an open secret,” says Dr. Andreas Bosse, an international legal consultant based in Monaco.
“They come here for the nice weather, but everybody knows Monaco has substantial tax advantages.”