Serena Williams Leads Forbes List Of The 2018 Highest Paid Female Athletes

Despite being out of the game for more than a year to have her daughter, Serena is still sports’ leading woman.

Nope… not just Tennis… but sports in general.

She is earning more than any woman who has taken a sporting discipline as their career.

When Forbes released their 2018 list of the highest paid Sports Women, Serena Williams led the pack.

Though she made the least amount of Prize Money (money earned while playing the sports) Serena made most of her money in endorsement deals to lead the list – talk about monetizing the brand…

See below for the Top 10:

  1. Serena Williams — Total earnings: $18.1 million

Prize money: $62,000

Endorsements: $18 million

Williams launched her fashion collection, Serena, in May. After collections for HSN and Nike, this is her first solo compilation and includes dresses, denim and jackets. Her $86 million in career prize money is twice the total of her sister Venus, who ranks second all-time.


  1. Caroline Wozniacki — Total earnings: $13 million

Prize money: $7 million

Endorsements: $6 million

Her endorsement partners include Adidas, Rolex, Usana, Babolat and more. She partnered with Ovvo Optics this year for her own sunglasses line. The offerings include 11 men’s and women’s styles named after Wozniacki’s family, friends and fellow famous Danes.


  1. Sloane Stephens — Total earnings: $11.2 million

Prize money: $5.7 million

Endorsements: $5.5 million

Stephens’ timing was impeccable for her first Grand Slam title (2017 U.S. Open): All of her sponsorship deals had expired or were set to run out at the end of 2017. The result was a huge bump in her off-court income thanks to new deals as a Slam winner with Nike, Mercedes-Benz, Rolex, Colgate, Chocolate Milk and Biofreeze. She was the first American woman besides the Williams sisters to win a Grand Slam since 2002.


  1. Garbine Muguruza — Total earnings: $11 million

Prize money: $5.5 million

Endorsements: $5.5 million

Muguruza won her second Slam at Wimbledon last year. The title meant a big bonus from sponsor Adidas and also helped her land a deal with Rolex. Evian signed the Spanish-Venezuelan pro this year for a multiyear, global marketing campaign. Other sponsors include Babolat, Beats by Dre, Rolex, Maui Jim sunglasses and Caser Seguros insurance.


  1. Maria Sharapova — Total earnings: $10.5 million

Prize money: $1 million

Endorsements: $9.5 million

Sharapova added a multiyear deal with UBS last year to a portfolio that already included Nike, Head, Porsche and Evian. The candy mogul expanded her Sugarpova brand via agreements with the Hudson Group and SBE Hotel Group. The brand is available in 22 countries, and sales should hit $20 million next year.


  1. Venus Williams — Total earnings: $10.2 million

Prize money: $4.2 million

Endorsements: $6 million

Alcon tapped Williams this year to help launch a new lubricant to combat dry eye. Her awareness level of 81% in the U.S. ranks behind only her sister’s among female athletes in the U.S. Williams, 38, is a popular draw on the speaking circuit, commanding as much as $100,000 for an appearance. She plans to play in the 2020 Olympics.


  1. P.V. Sindhu — Total earnings: $8.5 million

The Indian badminton player burst on the scene with a silver medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics. She was the first Indian female athlete to win a silver. The 23-year-old has a robust sponsor roster with Bridgestone, Gatorade, Nokia, Panasonic, Reckitt Benckiser and a half-dozen other brands.

Prize money: $500,000

Endorsements: $8 million


  1. Simona Halep — Total earnings: $7.7 million

Prize money: $6.2 million

Endorsements: $1.5 million

The world’s top-ranked tennis player had her deal with Adidas expire at the end of 2017. She reached the Australian Open final in January wearing a dress she designed herself. Nike inked the Romanian to a multiyear pact the following month.


  1. Danica Patrick — Total earnings: $7.5 million

Salary/prize money: $3 million

Endorsements: $4.5 million

The most successful female race car driver moved away from full-time racing after the 2017 Nascar season and hung up her firesuit for good after the Indy 500 in May. She launched a clothing line, Warrior by Danica Patrick, last year and authored the fitness book Pretty Intense. Patrick has made headlines in the gossip magazines through her romance with star NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Our earnings estimate includes six months of salary and winnings from the 2017 Nascar season.


  1. Angelique Kerber — Total earnings: $7 million

Prize money: $3 million

Endorsements: $4 million

Adidas is the biggest endorsement deal for the German tennis ace, and she also counts Generali, Porsche, Rolex, SAP and Yonex among her sponsors. Not included in Kerber’s earnings tally is the $3.3 million she pocketed for winning Wimbledon last month, after our counting period.

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