World’s richest tennis player has net worth four times bigger than Roger Federer

If you were to guess who the wealthiest former tennis player is, Ion Tiriac is not likely to be a name which comes to you straight away.

But the 82-year-old holds a fortune more than four times bigger than that of 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer.

The Romanian only won around £200,000 during his playing days, the highlight of which was a doubles success at the 1970 French Open alongside Ilie Nastase.

But he proved himself a savvy businessman and made a string of good investment decisions which saw him turn that cash into a fortune believed to be around £1.5bn.

His first steps after retiring were to begin a coaching career, working with Nastase and Boris Becker in his youth, among others.

Tiriac's real impact in the sport was his work to help it grow to a bigger audience, pioneering professional tournaments in cities across Europe and still owning the ATP Madrid Open today.

But the Romanian's biggest money-making schemes came outside tennis, and towards the end of the Cold War.

He took advantage of fading communism in his country to become the first to open a privately-owned bank, and the Tiriac Bank has been a big financial success.

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Under the company Tiriac Holdings Ltd, he has since branched out into retail, insurance and airline businesses and by 2007 had been named by Forbes as Romania's first billionaire.

Today, his net worth vastly outweighs Federer's and is one of the highest of any sportsman alive, alongside the likes of basketball great Michael Jordan and WWE boss Vince McMahon.

But what do you do with all that money?

As well as his own private jet – which he can fly himself as a qualified pilot – Tiriac owns a giant luxury apartment complex in the Romanian capital Bucharest which also contains one of the country's most elite and exclusive country clubs.

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And he is said to have a collection of more than 500 cars, including some classics more than 100 years old as well as more modern supercars.

He is believed to be the only person in the world who can boast two Rolls-Royce Phantom IVs in his own personal collection.

Now aged 82, Tiriac has three children and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013.

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