According to the annual list published by Forbes on Tuesday, Serena Williams has been named the highest paid female athlete for the third consecutive year.
The list was dominated by tennis players with India’s PV Sindhu and former American racing driver Danica Patrick being the only two non-tennis players on the list. Sindhu was also the only Indian to feature in the top 10.
Serena, who had taken a 14-month break from the sport after she announced her pregnancy, returned to competition earlier in the year after giving birth last September. Despite the break, she earned $62,000 in winnings over the past year but received a whopping $18.1 million from endorsements, Forbes revealed. This means she earned twice as much off the court as compared to any other female athlete, according to Forbes.
Serena will be aiming to equal the legendary Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles, when she competes at the US Open in New York this month. She currently stands on 23.
Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, who recently captured her first Grand Slam title earlier this year at the 2018 Australian Open, was second on the list with combined earnings of $13 million.
America’s reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens was third with a total of $11.2 million. Spaniard Garbine Muguruza ($11 million) and Russian Maria Sharapova ($10.5 million) rounded up the top five.
Meanwhile, among the non-tennis players to make the list, PV Sindhu had a total of $8.5 million, while Danica finished with $7.5 million, giving them the seventh and ninth spots, respectively.
In June, Forbes had issued a ranking of the world's 100 highest-paid athletes but did not feature a single woman. Serena Williams, who was the only woman on the list the previous year, dropped out due to her 14-month pregnancy and maternity break.