Serena Tops Forbes List for Highest-earning Female Athletes

Eight of the top 10 highest earning female athletes are tennis players, with 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams topping the Forbes list.

Williams earned just $62,000 (£48,050) from prize money during the past year – owing largely to her 14-month break to have a baby – but made $18m (£13.95m) through endorsements.

Badminton’s PV Sindhu and race car driver Danica Patrick are the only non-tennis players in the top 10.

In June, the Forbes rankings of the world’s top 100 highest earning athletes did not feature a woman after Williams dropped out of the chart.

US boxer Floyd Mayweather topped the list followed by football’s Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The top 10 highest earning female athletes earned $105m (£81.4m) in total from June 2017 to June 2018.

That figure is down 4% from last year and 28% from five years ago.

Williams’ total earnings ensure she tops the list for the third successive year, making twice as much away from the tennis court as any other female athlete.

Caroline Wozniacki is second on the list having won her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open earlier this year – a victory that secured her $3.1m (£2.4m) in prize money to push her total earnings to $13m (£10.1m).

Completing the top five are Sloane Stephens, Garbine Muguruza and Maria Sharapova.

Russian Sharapova was the top-earning female athlete for 11 consecutive years but has seen her earnings drop after her 15-month doping ban.

Indian Olympic and world silver medallist Sindhu and Patrick – the most successful female race car driver – are seventh and ninth on the list respectively.


1. Serena Williams (tennis) – $18.1m (£14m)

2. Caroline Wozniacki (tennis) – $13m (£10.1m)

3. Sloane Stephens (tennis) – $11.2m (£8.7m)

4. Garbine Muguruza (tennis) – $11m (£8.5m)

5. Maria Sharapova (tennis) – $10.5m (£8.1m)

6. Venus Williams (tennis) – $10.2m (£7.9m)

7. PV Sindhu (badminton) – $8.5m (£6.6m)

8. Simona Halep (tennis) – $7.7m (£6m)

9. Danica Patrick (race car driving) – $7.5m (£5.8m)

10.Angelique Kerber (tennis) – $7m (£5.4m)

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