Forbes released the Highest-Paid Female Athletes 2019 list on Tuesday. As usual, it is dominated by tennis players – all but three of the top 15. Tennis super star Serena Williams is the world’s highest-paid female athlete for the fourth year in a row.
Japanese tennis sensation Naomi Osaka, who upset Wiliams at the U.S. Open final last year, is in the second place. Last Year’s Wimbledon champion Germany’s Angelique Kerber is ranked third.
They are followed by tennis stars Simona Halep, Sloane Stephens, Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Sharapova, Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina, Venus Williams, Garbine Muguruza, World Cup winning U.S. Women’s football team’s co-captain Alex Morgan, Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu, Madison Keys and Thai pro golfer Ariya Jutanugarn.
Serena Williams earned $29.2 million, including $4.2 million in prize money, after returning to the WTA Tour following the birth of her daughter in September 2017.
Having more than 15 sponsors, most of her fortunes came from endorsements, worth $25 million.
Williams is expected to play through at least next year but is already planning her business prospects – a clothing line, “S by Serena.”
The 37-year old power player also plans to launch jewelry and beauty products lines by the end of 2020. She also has built a venture portfolio worth more than $10 million.
Born to a Japanese mother and Haitian-American father, Osaka was the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam event and first Asian player to reach the top ranking in women’s singles. Her off-court earnings jumped from $1.5 million annually to an estimated $16 million for the 12 months ending June 1, after signing deals with Mastercard, All Nippon Airways, Nissan and Procter & Gamble.
Including prize money, Osaka’s total earnings were $24.3 million by Forbes’ estimate. It makes her just the third female athlete to earn $20 million in a year.
Angelique Kerber earned $11.8 million from tennis. The former world No. 1 renewed deals with Adidas, SAP, Generali and NetJets and recently signed a new contract with Procter & Gamble’s Head & Shoulders brand. Other endorsements include Yonex, Porsche, Rolex and Lavazza.
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