Tennis players once again dominate Forbes‘ list of top-earning female athletes, as seven of the world’s ten highest-paid sportswomen are WTA stars.
1. Naomi Osaka
Even after her sub-par 2022 season and the debacle of her sponsor FTX, Naomi Osaka tops the list for the third year in a row. The Japanese made $51.1 million and only six athletes earned more than her $50 million in off-court endorsements this year.
2. Serena Williams
Serena Williams earned $41.3 in the year of her retirement. Williams and Osaka are the only two women in the Top 50 of Forbes‘ list of the world’s highest-paid athletes.
4. Emma Raducanu
After 19-year-old Chinese freestyle skier Eileen Gu, who is ranked third, comes Emma Raducanu as the WTA newcomer to the list with her earnings of $18.7 million. Her $18 million in endorsement deals come from a plethora of sponsors that rushed to work with her following her 2021 US Open triumph: British Airways, Dior, Evian, HSBC, Porsche, Tiffany and Vodafone.
The tennis community often criticizies the disproportion between Raducanu’s overall on-court results and lucrative endorsement deals. What works in her advantage is that her sponsored posts on social media are said to have the best engagement rate of any female tennis player.
5. Iga Swiatek
While tennis players make the vast majority of their money from sponsorship deals, the case of WTA’s most dominant player in 2022 is very different: Iga Swiatek earned $9.9 million at tournaments and just $5 million off-field. The world No.1 from Poland is apparently less marketable, so despite her spectacular on-court results, she earned nearly $4 million less that Raducanu whose ranking is down to No.80 from a career-high No.10 in July.
6. Venus Williams
Venus Williams played just four singles matches in 2022 and lost them all, but her illustrious career and celebrity status are keeping her high on the biggest-earners list. With $12.1 million, the seven-time Grand Slam singles champion is ranked sixth among the world’s highest-paid female athletes.
7. Coco Gauff
Teenager Coco Gauff is another debutante here with earnings of $11.1 million in 2022. As Forbes states, the amount could easily be higher, but the young American’s team and her parents carefully balance her tennis career and off-court ventures in order to avoid the chances of burnout.
The New Balance representative reached the 2022 French Open in both singles and doubles and it’s only a matter of time before she adds a major title to her biography.
9. Jessica Pegula
Following American gymnast Simone Biles, Forbes‘ Top 10 quickly gets back to tennis with Jessica Pegula at No.9 with $7.6 million. Her earnings are almost equally distributed between tennis ($3.6 million) and sponsorship deals ($4 million) that include Adidas, Yonex and Ready Nutrition.
That’s it when it comes to the Top 10 WTA representatives. Twelve of this year’s 25 highest-paid female athletes are from the Hologic WTA Tour, so let’s see the remaining women’s tennis stars and their Forbes ranking:
13. Leylah Fernandez of Canada ($7 million)
15. Ons Jabeur of Tunisia ($6.5 million)
16. Paula Badosa of Spain ($6.2 million)
24. Caroline Garcia of France ($5.2 million)
25. Garbine Muguruza of Spain ($5.2 million)