Seven of ten spots in Forbes’ highest-paid female athletes list occupied by women’s tennis players


Forbes has released its list of top female earners in sports for the June 2012 – June 2013 period and women’s tennis players are not only dominating, taking up seven of the top 10 spots, but the top four positions are reigned by our WTA stars.

Maria Sharapova is No.1 earner for the ninth straight year, with $29 million made in the one-year period, $1.688.916 of which came from her 2012 French Open title, while the majority is from her lucrative deals with Nike, Head, Cole Haan, Samsung, Tag Heuer, Evian and Porsche and her first own business, Sugarpova.

Serena Williams has been the player to beat and it’s paying off, as she comes in second in the list, with $20.5 million. Prize money takes up $8.5 million of that amount and $12 million comes from sponsors Nike, Wilson, Gatorade and OPI and equity deals with HSN, Sleep Sheets, Mission and the Miami Dolphins. Serena’s $47 million in career prize money is the most of any female athlete.

Li Na occupies the third spot with $18.2 million. Her status of a first Asian-born singles Grand Slam champion earned her seven multimillion-dollar endorsement deals, including Samsung and Mercedes-Benz. The Chinese is also promoting Nike, Babolat and Rolex.

Victoria Azarenka comes in fourth, with $15.7 million. The Belarusian made $2,441,936 with her Australian Open trophy in January, while her endorsement partners include Nike, Wilson, American Express, Six Star Pro Nutrition, InstaForex, Citizen Watch and Red Bull.

Caroline Wozniacki is the seventh in the list with $13.6 million. Her sponsors include Turkish Airlines, Oriflame, Adidas, Dubai Duty Free, JBS, etc.

Agnieszka Radwanska is No.8 with $7.4 million and her biggest endorsement is with Lotto.

Ana Ivanovic‘s days of tennis glory are long gone, but the Serb is still making big money and occupies the ninth spot in the list of top female athlete earners, with $7 million. Rolex, Yonex, Juice PLUS and Dubai Duty Free are all sponsoring Ivanovic, while her lifetime contract with Adidas is one of the richest in the sport. (photos: © Neal Trousdale)


  1. “Ana Ivanovic’s days of tennis glory are long gone”: has WomensTennisBlog changed of ownership??? 😉

  2. Gregoire, it’s not the first time I’m writing such statements. It’s true, but I’m always hoping for a big-scale revival 🙂

  3. Two years ago Caro earned $12.5 million and was second on this very same list. Now she made $1.1 million more and has dropped to seventh. It just shows that they are earning more and more every year. I wonder how much money tennis pros make 10 years from now. I mean of course they deserve their money; they work hard for it every day and it’s their job but there just is a lot of money in the tennis world.

  4. Tenniz-fan, excellent observation! I hadn’t noticed that, but you’re right. Two-year period is really short and the amount of the increase is immense.

  5. The other 3 athletes that made the the top ten, Race car driver Danica Patrick gets most of her money from endorsements, she is in at 5 with 15 Million. South Korean figure skater Kim Yuna, at 14 Million, again most of her money is from endorsements. Paula Creamer completes the list at 10 with a modest 5.5 Million.


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