Women’s tennis players dominate the Forbes magazine Top 10 list of the highest-paid female athletes and Maria Sharapova is the leader for the seventh year in a row. Forbes included earnings from salaries, prize money, endorsements, appearance fees and exhibitions between July 2010 and July 2011.
The 24-year-old Maria Sharapova did make the final of Wimbledon, but the greatest share in her $25 million fortune earned in the one-year period came from lucrative deals with Nike, Head, Evian, Clear Shampoo, Sony Ericsson, Tiffany, Tag Heuer, and Cole Haan.
World No.1 tennis player Caroline Wozniacki occupies the second position in the list with twice smaller earnings of $12.5 ($6 million from tournaments and $6.5 million from sponsors). The 21-year-old Wozniacki has deals with Adidas, Yonex, Compeed and Oriflame.
THE HIGHEST-PAID FEMALE ATHLETES
1. Maria Sharapova
2. Caroline Wozniacki
3. Danica Patrick (auto racing driver)
4. Venus Williams
5. Kim Clijsters
6. Serena Williams
7. Kim Yu-na (figure skater)
8. Li Na
9. Ana Ivanovic
10. Paula Creamer (golfer)
Venus Williams, 31, is No.4 with her $11.5 million. The American has deals with Wilson, Electronic Arts, Kraft, Ralph Lauren and Tide, and sells her personal clothing line, Eleven.
Kim Clijsters is No.5 with $11 million and is the leader in prize money on the WTA Tour with $6.5 million.
Serena Williams hardly even played tennis between July 2010 and July 2011 but she still managed to earn $10.5 million and the sixth position in the list.
Li Na became the first Chinese to win a singles Grand Slam when she clinched the 2011 French Open title. Her earnings of $8 million put her in the eighth position in the list. Li has been busy signing new seven-figure deals with companies like Mercedes-Benz that joined Nike, Haagen-Dazs and Rolex.
Ana Ivanovic‘s career may be on the down, but the Serb is apparently still making nice money, having earned $6 million in the mentioned period. Her lifetime deal with Adidas, signed last year, makes her one of the top WTA earners. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)