In recent times, discussions about the pay gap between male and female athletes have gained considerable attention. A closer look at the 2023 Forbes list of the highest-paid athletes highlights this disparity. With a cut-off of $25 million for the top 100, only Serena Williams managed to secure a spot in the top 50 highest-earning athletes worldwide, ranking forty-ninth. This stark contrast emphasizes the significant gap in earnings between male and female athletes, with many of the top-earning female athletes falling well below this mark. Despite various factors contributing to this divide, the data unmistakably indicates that tennis stands as the highest-paying sport for female athletes.
Women today are making remarkable strides in diverse industries, ranging from sports to defense. These inspirational figures serve as role models for people worldwide, influencing and motivating girls with their remarkable achievements and positive outlook. The evolving social dynamics have paved the way for women to excel in traditionally male-dominated fields. Notably, female athletes are flourishing in various sports, including wrestling, figure skating, gymnastics, and more, defying conventional norms and breaking barriers in the sports industry.
Table of Contents
Table of contents
- 1. Naomi Osaka (Tennis)
- 2. Serena Williams (Tennis)
- 3. Eileen Gu (Freestyle Skiing)
- 4. Emma Raducanu (Tennis)
- 5. Iga Swiatek (Tennis)
- 6. Venus Williams (Tennis)
- 7. Coco Gauff (Tennis)
- 8. Simone Biles (Gymnastics)
- 9. Jessica Pegula (Tennis)
- 10. Minjee Lee (Golf)
- 11. Candace Parker (Basketball)
- 12. P.V. Sindhu (Badminton)
- 13. Leylah Fernandez (Tennis)
- 14. Lydia Ko (Golf)
- 15. Ons Jabeur (Tennis)
- 16. Paula Badosa (Tennis)
- 17. Lexi Thompson (Golf)
- 18. Jin Young Ko (Golf)
- 19. In Gee Chun (Golf)
- 20. Alex Morgan (Soccer)
- 21. Megan Rapinoe (Soccer)
- 22. Brooke Henderson (Golf)
- 23. Nelly Korda (Golf)
- 24. Caroline Garcia (Tennis)
- 25. Garbine Muguruza (Tennis)
Here are 25 Highest-Paid Female Athletes in the World
Let’s understand why women are not recognized in the sports industry today. The reasons include- bias in endorsement deals, insufficient media coverage, low economic returns, and lack of women in authority positions. Another major challenge comes up with motherhood when female athletes have to distance themselves from the arena for childcare. Even the biggest female athletes failed to stand anywhere near the top 30-40 of the male athletes.
Women struggle to overcome body image and sexism issues in the sports industry. The lack of funding for female sports is an ongoing challenge. Female athletes have been degraded in sporting environments by being held to a lower standard than male athletes. Another stereotype the society follows is that men are more athletically gifted, and women are more likely to be objectified, shamed, and paid less.
As for India, only PV Sindhu could leave a mark among the highest-paid female athletes, at the International level. The highest-paid female athletes in India receive nowhere near a million dollars, which is a hard fact and highly disappointing.
Nevertheless, we understand the role of female athletes in this world. To acknowledge some of the biggest female athletes in the world, we bring to you the top 25 highest-paid female athletes. The list includes the top fifteen from 2019 while the remaining ten were the highest-paid female athletes in the previous years.
Here are the top 25 highest-paid female athletes:
1. Naomi Osaka (Tennis)
Naomi’s best career ranking & achievements:
Age: 26 Years
Career Highest Ranking: 1 (28 January 2019)
Net Worth: $65 Million
Latest Annual Earnings: $51.1 Million
The first Asian to attain the top ranking in the WTA list, Naomi is a legend in the making. Her fierce style of play is opposite to her calm personality. She rose to prominence at the age of sixteen after defeating former US Open Champ Samantha Stosur during her WTA Tour Debut. At the mere age of 20, she posted an incredible victory against the then 23-time Grand Slam Singles Champ Serena Williams. This win made her the first Japanese to receive a Grand Slam title. Naomi also ensures that Tennis remains the highest-paid female sport.
The 26-year-old Japanese-born player has added more than 10 brand partners, including Tag, Heuer, Louis Vuitton, and Sweet Green to her endorsement profile. She has an equities stake in SartusPRO and bearing foods. She has won the fourth grand slam title at the Australian Open. Her success is a motivational lesson for everyone out there.
2. Serena Williams (Tennis)
Serena’s best career ranking & achievements:
Age: 42 Years
Career Highest Ranking: 1 (8 July 2002)
Net Worth: $260 million
Latest Annual Earnings: $41.3 million
The living legend, Serena Williams is accorded the second highest status in today’s world of tennis. The arrival of the Williams Sisters is famously regarded as the beginning of the modern era in tennis. With the greatest number of Grand Slams in all categories, Serena is second on the list of highest-paid female athletes in 2023. While she earned only $0.3 million in prize money, $41 million came in the form of endorsements and investment incomes.
One of the richest female athletes, Serena endorses brands like Nike, and Delta, and earns from her clothing brand, S by Serena. She plans to launch jewelry and beauty products by the end of this year. She remained the world’s number one for 319 weeks with 23 grand slam singles titles. In her 27 years long career she has become African-American I can in this white-dominated industry. She won the Australian Open, French Open, U.S. Open, Wimbledon, WTA finals, Fed Cup, and Olympic titles too
3. Eileen Gu (Freestyle Skiing)
Eileen’s Age and Earnings:
Age: 20 Years
Latest Annual Earnings: $20.1 Million
Eileen Feng Gu, popularly known as Gu Ailing, has emerged as a global figure in the world of freestyle skiing, making headlines for her outstanding achievements at a remarkably young age. Born in the United States to a Chinese immigrant mother and an American father, Gu’s upbringing was deeply influenced by her mother’s dedicated pursuit of academic and professional success. Her impressive journey in the world of skiing began at the tender age of three, leading to a series of triumphs and accolades, ultimately solidifying her reputation as an exceptionally talented athlete on the global stage. With her groundbreaking performances at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, where she clinched two gold medals and a silver, she made her name in the history books, setting new benchmarks for excellence in freestyle skiing.
Eileen Gu’s Controversy:
Gu’s transition from representing Team USA to competing for China sparked considerable attention and controversy, drawing focus on the complexities surrounding nationality and identity in the world of sports. Despite the geopolitical tensions and questions raised about her citizenship, Gu’s unwavering commitment to her sport and her resolute dedication to using her platform to inspire and unite people from diverse backgrounds have positioned her as a role model for aspiring athletes worldwide. Beyond her remarkable sporting achievements, she has also become a prominent figure in the realms of fashion and media, garnering significant endorsements and modeling contracts from renowned brands across the globe. With her ability to effortlessly navigate both her Chinese and American heritage, Gu has established herself as a symbol of resilience and determination, leaving an indelible mark on the world stage.
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4. Emma Raducanu (Tennis)
Emma’s Career Ranking & Achievements:
Age: 20 Years
Highest Career Ranking: 10 (11 July 2022)
Latest Annual Earnings: $18.7 Million
Emma Raducanu was born in Toronto, Canada, and raised in Bromley, England. Her parents come from academic backgrounds in Romania and China, and she has fluency in multiple languages. She started playing tennis at the age of five and also had a diverse range of interests in other sports and activities. Raducanu attended Bickley Primary School and Newstead Wood School, achieving top grades in her A-Levels.
Raducanu made her mark in the junior circuit with several ITF titles and notable performances in prestigious events such as Wimbledon and the US Open. She made her professional debut in 2018, participating in ITF tournaments and securing notable victories. Raducanu also contributed as a hitting partner for the British team in the Fed Cup.
Raducanu made her WTA Tour main-draw debut and showcased an impressive performance at Wimbledon, reaching the fourth round. She later had a change in coaching and played in several other events, leading up to her historic victory at the 2021 US Open as a qualifier.
Raducanu’s career statistics include her performance in Grand Slam tournaments, with a notable title win at the 2021 US Open. She has also achieved various Open-era records at the US Open.
In Media and Awards:
Raducanu has garnered numerous endorsements and accolades, becoming a highly marketable athlete after her US Open win. She has collaborated with several top brands and has been recognized with prestigious awards for her achievements in tennis.
Raducanu is known for her aggressive baseline play, strong serves, and effective returns.
5. Iga Swiatek (Tennis)
Iga’s Career Ranking & Achievements:
Age: 22 Years
Career Highest Ranking: 1 (4 April 2022)
Latest Annual Earnings: $14.9 Million
Iga Świątek is a Polish professional tennis player born on May 31, 2001. She has achieved significant success in her career, having been ranked the world No. 1 in women’s singles by the WTA and securing four Major singles titles, including the French Open in 2020, 2022, and 2023, as well as the US Open in 2022. She is recognized as the first player representing Poland to win a Major singles title. Alongside her Major victories, she has also clinched 12 WTA Tour-level titles.
Born to a retired Olympic rower, Tomasz Swiatek, Iga showed early promise in tennis, winning the 2018 French Open girls’ doubles championship and the 2018 Wimbledon girls’ singles championship. She made her mark on the WTA Tour in 2019, reaching the top 50 after her first Tour final and a notable fourth-round appearance at the 2019 French Open.
Personal Life and Awards:
Apart from her sports career, Swiatek is known for her love of books, rock music, and various genres such as jazz, soul, and pop. She has been involved in various charitable initiatives, including auctions to support causes related to pediatric health and contributing to projects such as The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity and Noble Gift project. Her philanthropic efforts have extended to supporting schools and contributing to initiatives against Gender-Based Violence.
Over the years, Swiatek has been sponsored by various companies, including On, Asics, and Rolex, among others. Her success has also led to collaborations and special edition product lines. Notably, her collaboration with Tecnifibre resulted in the company temporarily changing its marketing name to Swiateknifibre to celebrate her victory at the 2022 French Open. Her partnerships have expanded to include global brands such as Porsche, VISA, and Infosys.
6. Venus Williams (Tennis)
Venus’ Career Ranking & Achievements:
Age: 43 Years
Career Highest Ranking: 1 (February 2002)
Latest Annual Earnings: $12.1 Million
23-time Grand Slam champion and 4-time Olympic gold medalist, Venus is a tennis elite. Her vogue attracts numerous brands, however, her source of earning is a little different. She majorly earns from her startups- EleVen and V Starr Interiors. Other than this, her fitness channel on YouTube has proved to be a goldmine while investments in the wellness brand Austra keep growing by the day.
Venus withdrew from the US Open tournament in 2011 after being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome. Debilitating joint pain, swelling, numbness, and fatigue are symptoms of the rare autoimmune disease that forced the tennis star and seven-time Grand Slam champion to retire. Still, she has made career growth and managed to Feature multiple times on the list of highest-paid female athletes in the world, Venus is an inspiration to all the ladies out there! Venus with her sister, Serena successfully built Tennis into the highest-paid female sport.
7. Coco Gauff (Tennis)
Coco’s Career Ranking & Achievements:
Age: 19 Years
Career Highest Ranking: 3 (September 11, 2023)
Latest Annual Earnings: $11.1 Million
Cori “Coco” Gauff was born on March 13, 2004, in Delray Beach, Florida. Her parents, Candi, and Corey Gauff, both hailed from the same place. She has two younger brothers, making their family a lively household. Her father was a college basketball player at Georgia State University before pursuing a career in healthcare administration. Meanwhile, her mother found her passion in track and field during her time at Florida State University, later transitioning into the field of education.
It was at the age of six that she started taking an interest in tennis, gradually developing her skills and passion for the sport. Her journey in the sport truly began to take shape when she started training under Gerard Loglo at the New Generation Tennis Academy at the tender age of eight. Under his guidance and mentorship, Gauff’s talent and dedication blossomed, setting the stage for her remarkable career in the world of professional tennis.
Gauff won her first Major at the 2023 US Open, marking a significant milestone in her career. She has also secured other titles, including a WTA 1000 title at the Cincinnati Masters in the same year. Gauff was the former world No. 1 junior, showcasing her talent from an early age. She won the junior 2018 French Open singles title and the junior major doubles title at the 2018 US Open, solidifying her status as a promising young player.
Gauff made her WTA Tour debut in 2019, making waves with impressive performances at tournaments such as Wimbledon, where she became the youngest player to qualify for the main draw in the tournament’s history. Gauff’s breakthrough wins include her victory over Venus Williams at Wimbledon in 2019, which garnered significant attention and established her as a player to watch. She reached the top 100 in both singles and doubles rankings early in her career and has continued to climb higher, securing top 10 and top 5 positions in singles and doubles, respectively.
Gauff has secured sponsorship deals with notable brands such as New Balance and Barilla, showcasing her appeal beyond the tennis court. Her collaboration with these brands has contributed to her growing influence in the sports world.
Gauff is known for her strong Christian faith, often expressing gratitude and acknowledging the role of her faith in her success. Her pre-match rituals with her father reflect her reliance on her faith as a source of strength and guidance. Gauff looks up to Serena and Venus Williams, considering them as her tennis idols.
8. Simone Biles (Gymnastics)
Simone’s Age and Earnings:
Age: 26 Years
Latest Annual Earnings: $10 Million
Simone Biles Owens was born on March 14, 1997, and she quickly rose to become an iconic figure in the world of artistic gymnastics. Hailing from the United States, she displayed extraordinary talent and dedication from a young age, laying the foundation for her groundbreaking career. Her journey in gymnastics started with humble beginnings, gradually evolving into an extraordinary tale of perseverance and excellence.
Simone Biles’s legacy is defined by her unparalleled dominance in both the World Championships and the Olympic Games. Her list of achievements is nothing short of extraordinary, with numerous gold medals and record-breaking performances under her belt. From her historic triumphs in the all-around, vault, and floor exercises to her exemplary contributions to the United States team, Biles consistently redefined what was thought to be possible in gymnastics.
Simone Biles not only shattered records but also set new standards for excellence in the sport. Her numerous World Championships medals, including an unprecedented 30 total and 23 golds, solidified her place in the history books. Her impact extended beyond the gymnastics community, leading to prestigious accolades such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded to her by Joe Biden in 2022. In 2023, she further solidified her position by clinching her eighth U.S. Gymnastics title, surpassing the 90-year-old record previously held by Alfred Jochim. Biles’s remarkable journey continues to inspire countless individuals worldwide, leaving an indelible mark on the world of sports.
9. Jessica Pegula (Tennis)
Jessica’s Career Ranking & Achievements:
Age: 29 Years
Career Highest Ranking: 3 (October 24, 2022)
Latest Annual Earnings: $7.6 Million
Jessica Pegula, an accomplished American tennis player, was born on February 24, 1994, in Buffalo, New York, to Terry and Kim Pegula. Her parents are renowned for being the billionaire owners of the Buffalo Bills in the National Football League and the Buffalo Sabres in the National Hockey League. Her diverse heritage includes half-Korean roots, as her mother was born in Seoul. Jessica grew up alongside four siblings: Kelly, Matthew, Michael, and Laura, the latter two from her father’s previous marriage. Her upbringing in a sports-oriented family played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for athletics.
Throughout her tennis career, Jessica Pegula has garnered significant recognition and success, establishing herself as a formidable force in the world of professional tennis. With an impressive array of victories in both singles and doubles tournaments, she has clinched several prestigious titles, including four singles titles and seven doubles titles on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour. Her remarkable performances have led to a career-high WTA singles ranking of world No. 3 and world No. 1 in doubles, a testament to her unwavering dedication and skill on the court.
In addition to her accomplishments in tennis, Jessica Pegula has ventured into the business world, showcasing her entrepreneurial spirit. Alongside her sister Kelly, she co-founded the quick-serve restaurant, Healthy Scratch, in 2016, based in LECOM Harborcenter, Buffalo, New York. Despite facing challenges, including closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jessica’s resilience and business acumen reflect her multifaceted capabilities beyond the realm of sports. Moreover, her foray into the skincare industry with her own line, Ready 24, illustrates her diverse interests and pursuits outside the world of professional tennis.
10. Minjee Lee (Golf)
Minjee’s Age and Earnings:
Age: 27 Years
Latest Annual Earnings: $7.3 Million
Minjee Lee, an Australian professional golfer, was born on May 27, 1996, in Perth. Displaying exceptional talent from a young age, Lee emerged as the number one ranked amateur golfer in February 2014 after securing victory at the Oates Victorian Open. Her amateur career boasted a series of remarkable achievements, including notable wins at the WA Amateur Open, the U.S. Girls’ Junior, and the Australian Women’s Amateur, among others.
Transitioning into the professional circuit in September 2014, Lee continued to make waves in the golfing world, amassing an impressive collection of accolades. Notably, she clinched several victories on the LPGA Tour, including the Kingsmill Championship in 2015, the Lotte Championship and the Blue Bay LPGA in 2016, and the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open in 2019. Furthermore, she secured her first major championship win at the Amundi Evian Championship in July 2021, followed by another major triumph at the U.S. Women’s Open in June 2022.
Minjee Lee hails from a family with Korean origins. Her parents, Soonam and Clara Lee, immigrated to Australia in the early 1990s, setting the stage for Minjee and her younger brother, Min Woo Lee, to establish themselves as notable figures in the world of golf. Notably, Min Woo Lee claimed victory at the 2016 U.S. Junior Amateur, solidifying the siblings’ place as the first brother-sister pair to win the USGA’s junior championships. Lee’s family heritage and their collective accomplishments in the sport serve as a source of inspiration for golf enthusiasts worldwide.
11. Candace Parker (Basketball)
Candace’s Age and Earnings:
Age: 37 Years
Latest Annual Earnings: $7.2 Million
Candace Nicole Parker, fondly known as “Ace,” was born on April 19, 1986, in St. Louis, Missouri. Her basketball journey commenced with notable achievements during her high school years, where she secured the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year awards in 2003 and 2004. Her exceptional performance in high school propelled her to national recognition and set the stage for her illustrious basketball career.
Continuing her basketball prowess at the collegiate level, Parker excelled as a prominent figure in the University of Tennessee’s women’s basketball team. Notably, she led the team to consecutive national championships in 2007 and 2008. Her impressive contributions on the court earned her recognition as the Final Four’s most outstanding player during both championship victories, solidifying her status as a key player in the sport.
Parker’s professional career in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) has been marked by numerous accolades and milestones. Notably, she was selected as the first overall pick in the 2008 WNBA draft by the Los Angeles Sparks, where she spent 13 seasons. She also played for the Chicago Sky, winning a championship with each team. Parker’s versatile playing style has led to various awards, including two WNBA Most Valuable Player Awards (2008, 2013), a WNBA All-Star Game MVP Award (2013), and the WNBA Rookie of the Year Award (2008).
Beyond her achievements on the court, Parker has also made significant contributions as an analyst and commentator for Turner Sports, providing coverage for NBA games on TNT and NBA TV, as well as the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Additionally, she has been a prominent advocate for various causes, including animal welfare, as demonstrated by her involvement in anti-fur campaigns.
Parker’s personal life has seen its share of significant events, including her marriage to Shelden Williams in 2008 and their subsequent separation in 2016. She later married Anna Petrakova in 2019, with whom she welcomed a son in February 2022. Her involvement in the ownership group of Angel City FC, a Los Angeles-based team in the National Women’s Soccer League, further highlights her commitment to sports beyond basketball.
12. P.V. Sindhu (Badminton)
Sindhu’s Career Ranking & Achievements:
Age: 28 Years
Career Highest Ranking: 2 (1 April 2017)
Latest Annual Earnings: $7.1 Million
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu, born on July 5, 1995, is an Indian badminton player. She has been employed with Bharat Petroleum since July 2013 and was promoted to Deputy Sports Manager after her silver-medal win at the Rio Olympics in 2016. She serves as the first brand ambassador of Bridgestone India and was appointed as the Deputy Collector (Group-I) by the Andhra Pradesh government in July 2017.
Sindhu broke into the top 20 of the BWF World Rankings in September 2012, at the age of 17. Her journey to success reached new heights when she became the first Indian badminton player to reach the Olympic final at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, clinching a silver medal after an intense battle with Spain’s Carolina Marín. Sindhu solidified her prowess by securing a bronze medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, becoming the first Indian woman to achieve the feat of winning two Olympic medals.
Notably, Sindhu’s achievements extend beyond the Olympics. She has amassed an impressive collection of medals at various international competitions, including the BWF World Championships, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, and the BWF World Tour. Her triumphs include a gold medal at the 2019 World Championships, marking her as the first and only Indian badminton player to claim the title of world champion. Sindhu’s career has also been highlighted by her consistent success in the BWF Superseries and BWF Grand Prix, where she has secured numerous titles and emerged as a prominent force in the global badminton circuit.
Awards and Recognition:
Sindhu has received various awards and accolades throughout her career, including the Arjuna Award, Padma Shri, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, and Padma Bhushan, among others. She has been recognized as the CNN-IBN Indian of the Year (Sports) in 2013, FICCI Breakthrough Sportsperson of the Year in 2014, and BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year in 2020. She has also been featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in the Entertainment & Sports category in 2018.
13. Leylah Fernandez (Tennis)
Leylah’s Career Ranking & Achievements:
Age: 21 Years
Career Highest Ranking: 13 (8 August 2022)
Latest Annual Earnings: $7 Million
Leylah Annie Fernandez, born on September 6, 2002, in Montreal, Canada, was raised in a diverse cultural environment. Her father, Jorge, hails from Ecuador and boasts a background in football, while her mother, Irene, is of Filipino-Canadian descent. Leylah’s younger sister, Bianca, also follows in her footsteps as a tennis player. Growing up in this multicultural household, Leylah acquired proficiency in English, French, and Spanish, demonstrating her versatility and adaptability. Embracing her passion for sports and education, Leylah pursued a business degree at Indiana University East, leveraging a unique program that accommodated her tennis commitments.
Leylah Fernandez’s professional trajectory is underscored by her tenacity and exceptional skills on the court. Since her professional debut in 2019, Fernandez has consistently displayed her prowess, securing her first professional singles title at the Gatineau Challenger. Notably, her breakthrough came at the 2021 Monterrey Open, where she triumphed, claiming her inaugural WTA Tour title. However, her meteoric rise was most prominently highlighted at the 2021 US Open, where she captured the hearts of fans worldwide with her captivating performances.
Overcoming top-ranked players en route to the final, she secured a runner-up finish, solidifying her status as a formidable contender in the world of tennis. Additionally, she continued to make waves in subsequent tournaments, attaining significant milestones such as a French Open quarterfinal appearance and a top 20 doubles ranking, showcasing her versatility and adaptability on different surfaces. Leylah’s exceptional achievements have garnered her various endorsements and sponsorships, contributing to her growing influence and popularity within the sporting world.
Beyond her remarkable athletic achievements, Leylah Fernandez has actively pursued philanthropic initiatives, founding the Leylah Annie & Family Foundation. This non-profit organization aims to enhance the lives of families through educational and sports-based opportunities. Leveraging her platform and influence, Fernandez has consistently advocated for social change and community empowerment, demonstrating her commitment to creating a positive impact beyond the confines of the tennis court. Her charitable work and dedication to uplifting communities have further solidified her reputation as a role model and inspiration for aspiring athletes and young individuals worldwide.
14. Lydia Ko (Golf)
Ko’s Career Ranking & Achievements:
Age: 26 Years
Career Highest Ranking: 1 (2 February 2015)
Latest Annual Earnings: $6.9 Million
Lydia Ko, born on April 24, 1997, in South Korea, moved to New Zealand with her family at an early age. Her passion for golf was evident from her childhood, and she quickly emerged as a prodigious talent in the sport. Ko’s early dedication to the game, coupled with her remarkable skills, set the stage for her extraordinary journey in the world of professional golf.
Rising Star and Record-Breaking Achievements:
Ko’s rise to prominence in the golfing world was marked by numerous groundbreaking accomplishments. At the tender age of 15, she became the youngest player to claim an LPGA Tour event, an achievement that reflected her exceptional talent and determination. Notably, her victory at the 2015 Evian Championship marked a significant milestone, as she became the youngest woman to secure a major championship at just 18 years and 4 months old. Ko continued to break records, establishing a reputation for her ability to perform under pressure and her remarkable consistency on the golf course.
Impact and Honors in the Golfing World and Beyond:
Lydia Ko’s influence transcended the sport of golf, as evidenced by her recognition as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2014. Her unwavering dedication and significant contributions to women’s sports were acknowledged through her inclusion in the EspnW Impact25 list for two consecutive years. Furthermore, her appointment as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2019 New Year Honours highlighted her profound impact on the global golfing community and her significant contributions to the sport. Ko’s contributions to the sport extended beyond her remarkable performances, as she assumed a pivotal role as a player director on the LPGA Board, showcasing her commitment to the development and advancement of women’s golf.
Recent Success and Personal Milestones:
In November 2022, Ko’s exceptional talent and resilience were reaffirmed as she clinched the CME Group Tour Championship, solidifying her status as one of the premier players on the LPGA Tour. Her remarkable season culminated in numerous accolades, including the prestigious LPGA Player of the Year award, the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average, and the title of 2022 leading money winner. Ko’s recent marriage to Chung Jun, the son of Hyundai Card Vice Chairman Chung Tae-young, added a personal milestone to her already illustrious career, signaling a new chapter in her life on and off the golf course.
15. Ons Jabeur (Tennis)
Ons’s Career Ranking & Achievements:
Age: 29 Years
Career Highest Ranking: 2 (27 June 2022)
Latest Annual Earnings: $6.5 Million
Early Life and Introduction to Tennis:
Ons Jabeur’s journey in tennis began at a remarkably young age, with her mother introducing her to the sport when she was just three years old. Her early exposure to tennis ignited a passion that eventually propelled her to the upper echelons of the sport, making her a prominent figure in the global tennis community.
Rising to Prominence and Breakthrough Achievements:
Jabeur’s exceptional talent and dedication were evident early in her career, as she achieved notable success in junior competitions, including her triumph in the junior girls’ singles final at the 2011 French Open, an accomplishment that established her as the first African or Arab to secure a junior major title since 1964. Her subsequent transition to the professional circuit was marked by consistent performances and significant milestones, with her breakthrough to the top tier of the WTA Tour in 2017 setting the stage for her continued success.
Influence and Impact on African Tennis:
Ons Jabeur’s remarkable achievements have had a profound impact on the sport of tennis, particularly in Africa. Her trailblazing journey, characterized by her unique and creative playing style, has garnered attention and inspired a new generation of tennis players across the continent. Notably, her historic victory at the 2022 Madrid Open, where she became the first female Tunisian and Arab player to secure a WTA 1000 title, further solidified her position as a role model for aspiring athletes in the region.
Diverse Partnerships and Contributions Beyond Tennis:
Jabeur’s contributions extend beyond her exceptional performances on the court, as evidenced by her numerous partnerships and endorsements with prominent brands and organizations. Her collaboration with Qatar Airways, Tunisie Télécom, and other renowned entities has further amplified her influence and allowed her to become a prominent ambassador for various industries. Furthermore, her recent venture into the world of sports ownership, with her acquisition of a minority stake in the National Women’s Soccer League club North Carolina Courage, highlights her commitment to supporting and fostering growth within the realm of professional sports.
Jabeur’s noteworthy recognition, including her appointment as a Grand Officer of the National Order of Merit of Tunisia and her inclusion in the prestigious BBC 100 Women list, serves as a testament to her enduring impact and legacy in the world of tennis and beyond.
16. Paula Badosa (Tennis)
Paula’s Career Ranking & Achievements:
Age: 25 Years
Career Highest Ranking: 2 (25 April 2022)
Latest Annual Earnings: $6.2 Million
Early Career and Junior Achievements:
Paula Badosa Gibert’s early career showcased her exceptional talent and determination, with her notable victory in the 2015 French Open girls’ singles championship solidifying her status as a promising young tennis player. Her successful transition to the professional circuit was marked by consistent performances and steady progress, leading to her eventual rise in the rankings and the recognition of her aggressive baseline style of play.
Professional Breakthrough and Major Achievements:
Badosa’s significant achievements in the professional tennis sphere include her notable performances at various Grand Slam tournaments, notably reaching the quarterfinals of the 2021 French Open and securing her maiden WTA 1000 title at the Indian Wells Open later that year. Her powerful serve and dominant groundstrokes have enabled her to dictate play on the court, earning her a reputation as a fierce competitor and a formidable force in the world of women’s tennis.
Playing Style and Strategic Adaptability:
Badosa’s multifaceted playing style highlights her versatility and adaptability on various surfaces, with clay courts being her preferred terrain. Her proficiency in deploying a range of shots, including the two-handed backhand and the powerful forehand, has allowed her to maintain control during intense rallies. Additionally, her defensive capabilities, swift footwork, and stamina have consistently placed her at an advantage during prolonged exchanges, emphasizing her resilience and mental toughness on the court.
Off-Court Engagements and Personal Endeavors:
Outside of her tennis career, Badosa has established significant partnerships and endorsements, notably with Nike and Wilson, solidifying her status as a prominent brand ambassador. Her multilingual abilities and global presence have further contributed to her appeal and influence within the international tennis community. Additionally, her publicized relationships with notable figures within the tennis and entertainment industry have garnered widespread attention and interest, highlighting her presence in the media and popular culture.
Career Statistics and Grand Slam Performances:
Badosa’s impressive record at Grand Slam tournaments, including her appearances and performances at various stages of these prestigious events, underscores her consistent presence and competitive spirit on the international tennis stage. Her journey through the ranks and her commendable win-loss ratio exemplifies her dedication and commitment to achieving excellence in the sport.
17. Lexi Thompson (Golf)
Lexi’s Age and Earnings:
Age: 28 Years
Latest Annual Earnings: $5.9 Million
Early Success and Professional Debut:
Alexis Thompson’s journey in professional golf began with unprecedented achievements, such as becoming the youngest golfer to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open at the age of 12 and subsequently turning professional at 15. Her early years were marked by notable wins, including the Navistar LPGA Classic and the Dubai Ladies Masters, which solidified her position as a rising star in the world of golf.
Amateur Record and Development:
Thompson’s success as an amateur player further underscored her exceptional talent, with victories in prestigious tournaments like the U.S. Girls’ Junior and the Junior PGA Championship. Her transition to professional status was facilitated by an impressive performance at the Curtis Cup, where she represented the winning United States team and displayed her potential as a formidable force on the golf course.
Professional Milestones and Major Triumphs:
Throughout her professional career, Thompson continued to make waves in the world of golf, securing significant victories at renowned events like the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the Meijer LPGA Classic, and the CME Group Tour Championship. Her consistent performances and strategic gameplay highlighted her versatility and skill, positioning her as one of the leading figures in the LPGA Tour.
Controversies and Challenges:
Thompson’s journey was not without its challenges, as she faced several controversies and setbacks, including a notable penalty at the 2017 ANA Inspiration for a rules violation. Despite these hurdles, her resilience and determination remained unwavering, allowing her to continue making strides in her professional career and cementing her status as a prominent figure in the world of golf.
Recent Career and Professional Expansion:
Thompson’s recent endeavors have seen her expand her horizons, with notable appearances on the PGA Tour, showcasing her versatility and adaptability as a golfer. Her consistent presence in various high-profile tournaments and her enduring impact on the sport have solidified her position as a role model and an inspiration for aspiring golfers worldwide.
18. Jin Young Ko (Golf)
Jing’s Age and Earnings:
Age: 28 Years Latest Annual Earnings: $5.8 Million
Early Career and Local Success:
Ko Jin-young’s career in professional golf began with remarkable achievements on the LPGA of Korea Tour, where she secured ten victories by the age of 22. Her exceptional performance at the 2015 Ricoh Women’s British Open and her triumph at the 2017 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship foreshadowed her future success on the international stage.
Breakthrough on the LPGA Tour:
Upon joining the LPGA Tour in 2018, Ko wasted no time in making an impact, securing a victory at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, a feat achieved by only a select few in the history of the tour. Her consistent top-10 finishes throughout the season earned her the esteemed title of the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year, setting the stage for her meteoric rise in the world of professional golf.
Dominance and Major Championship Triumphs:
Ko’s subsequent years were marked by an impressive streak of victories and achievements, including her major championship wins at the ANA Inspiration and the Evian Championship in 2019. Her consistent performance and exceptional skills led her to clinch the LPGA Player of the Year title, further solidifying her position as one of the leading figures in the world of women’s golf.
Continued Success and Record-Breaking Achievements:
Ko’s dominance continued in the following years, with notable victories at prestigious tournaments such as the CME Group Tour Championship and the HSBC Women’s World Championship. Her exemplary gameplay and unwavering determination enabled her to maintain her status as the world’s top-ranked female golfer, a title she has reclaimed multiple times throughout her illustrious career.
Recent Performances and Legacy:
Despite facing challenges and tough competition, Ko has consistently showcased her resilience and exceptional skills on the golf course. Her record-breaking achievements and enduring legacy have solidified her position as one of the most influential and successful golfers in the history of the sport, inspiring generations of aspiring athletes to pursue excellence and success in the world of professional golf.
19. In Gee Chun (Golf)
Chun’s Age and Earnings:
Age: 29 Years
Latest Annual Earnings: $5.7 Million
Early Career and Major Breakthroughs:
Gee Chun In, a distinguished South Korean professional golfer, embarked on her journey to success with an impressive win at the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open, the first of her three major championship victories. Her extraordinary talent was further showcased at the 2016 Evian Championship, where she achieved a record-breaking score of 21 under par, solidifying her position as a force to be reckoned with in the world of women’s golf. Chun continued her winning streak, securing the 2022 Women’s PGA Championship title, further cementing her reputation as one of the most accomplished players in the sport.
Cross-Continental Triumphs and Remarkable Achievements:
Chun’s exceptional abilities extended beyond a single tour, as she made history in 2015 by clinching major victories on three different golf tours within a single calendar year. Her remarkable success on the KLPGA Tour, JLPGA Tour, and LPGA Tour earned her unprecedented recognition and elevated her to the ranks of the most influential and accomplished golfers of her time. Additionally, her representation of South Korea at the 2016 Rio Olympics highlighted her status as a respected ambassador for the sport on a global scale.
Consistent Performances and Playoff Challenges:
Chun’s journey in professional golf has been characterized by consistent performances and a resilient spirit, exemplified by her numerous victories on the LPGA of Korea Tour. While she faced challenging playoff situations, including four significant instances on the LPGA Tour, Chun’s unwavering determination and remarkable skill set have solidified her position as a revered and respected figure in the world of women’s golf.
Career Summary and World Ranking:
Chun’s illustrious career has been marked by multiple wins across various prestigious tournaments, including her dominant performances at the LPGA Tour and the LPGA of Japan Tour. Her impressive world ranking positions at the end of each calendar year further underscore her enduring impact and significant contributions to the sport of golf. As one of South Korea’s most celebrated athletes, Chun’s legacy continues to inspire and motivate aspiring golfers worldwide.
20. Alex Morgan (Soccer)
Alex’s Age and Earnings:
Age: 34 Years
Latest Annual Earnings: $5.7 Million
Early Career and Rise to Prominence:
Alexandra Morgan Carrasco, recognized as one of the foremost American professional soccer players, swiftly ascended the ranks after she graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. Drafted as the number one pick in the 2011 WPS Draft by the Western New York Flash, her professional debut coincided with the team’s championship victory. At the age of 22, she emerged as the youngest player in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, an event where the team secured the runner-up position. Her remarkable performance continued at the 2012 London Olympics, where her decisive goal in the semi-final match against Canada propelled the United States to victory.
Global Success and Off-Field Endeavors:
Morgan’s soccer journey continued to garner international acclaim, with significant victories at the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cups, solidifying her status as a pivotal figure in the world of women’s soccer. Beyond her sporting achievements, Morgan’s contributions transcended the field, as exemplified by her notable authorship of the middle-grade book series, The Kicks, in collaboration with Simon & Schuster. Additionally, her foray into the entertainment industry through the film “Alex & Me” marked her acting debut, showcasing her versatility and diverse talents.
Influence and Cultural Impact:
Recognized as one of the top-paid American women’s soccer players, Morgan’s influence extended beyond sports, as demonstrated by her appearances on the cover of various renowned magazines. Her notable presence in popular culture was further exemplified by her television, film, and music video appearances, solidifying her status as a prominent and influential public figure. Named as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2019 and 2022, Morgan’s enduring impact continues to inspire generations of athletes and enthusiasts worldwide.
Personal Life and Advocacy:
Outside of her athletic endeavors, Morgan’s personal life and advocacy efforts contributed to her multifaceted identity. Her marriage to fellow soccer player Servando Carrasco and the birth of their daughter, Charlie Elena Carrasco, added a personal dimension to her public persona. Notably, Morgan’s involvement in the Common Goal campaign and her advocacy for veganism underscored her commitment to social and environmental causes, further solidifying her status as a role model and advocate for positive change.
21. Megan Rapinoe (Soccer)
Megan’s Age and Earnings:
Age: 38 Years
Latest Annual Earnings: $5.7 Million
Life and Career:
Megan Rapinoe, a renowned American professional soccer player, has left an indelible mark on the world stage with her exceptional performances for both the OL Reign and the United States national team. Her crucial contributions to the team’s victories at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup have solidified her status as a pivotal figure in the world of women’s soccer. Notably, her precise and skillful play style, coupled with her historic goal from a corner kick at the Olympic Games, has distinguished her as a trailblazer in the sport.
Advocacy and Activism:
Rapinoe’s profound impact extends beyond the field, as she has been a vocal advocate for various LGBTQIA+ organizations, including the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Athlete Ally. Her notable philanthropic work and commitment to ending homophobia and transphobia in sports have garnered recognition and accolades, including the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded to her by Joe Biden in July 2022. Her continued advocacy has cemented her position as a prominent voice for inclusivity and equality in the sporting world.
Endorsements and Brand Collaborations:
Recognized as a prominent figure in the world of sports and beyond, Rapinoe has secured endorsement deals with major brands such as Nike, Samsung, Procter & Gamble, VISA, and Victoria’s Secret, among others. Her appearances in various commercials, print advertisements, and television campaigns for these brands have further solidified her status as a global influencer and a leading figure in the realm of sports marketing.
Rapinoe’s involvement in political discourse has been notable, as she openly endorsed Elizabeth Warren in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries. Her hosting of a panel with frontline workers during the opening night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention underscored her commitment to engaging with critical social and political issues, showcasing her multifaceted role as a prominent athlete and advocate for social change.
22. Brooke Henderson (Golf)
Brooke’s Age and Earnings:
Age: 26 Years
Latest Annual Earnings: $5.4 Million
Early Years and Family Background:
Brooke Mackenzie Henderson, a prominent Canadian professional golfer, was raised in Smiths Falls, Ontario, where her passion for golf first took root at the Rideau Lakes Golf and Country Club. Her family, including her parents Dave and Darlene, played a significant role in nurturing her interest in the sport. Inspired by her sister Brittany, a former professional player, Henderson embarked on a competitive golfing journey, marking the beginning of her remarkable career in the world of golf.
Amateur Career and Transition to Professional Golf:
Henderson’s exceptional talent became evident during her amateur career, marked by notable victories at prestigious tournaments such as the Canadian Women’s Amateur and the South American Amateur. Despite having the opportunity to play college golf at the University of Florida, she chose to turn professional in December 2014, a decision that propelled her onto the international golfing stage. Supported by her father as her coach and her sister as her caddy, Henderson’s professional journey began to unfold, characterized by her unwavering determination and skill on the course.
Professional Success and Major Achievements:
Henderson’s career has been punctuated by numerous victories on the LPGA Tour, including her groundbreaking win at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in 2016, where she became the event’s youngest winner at the age of 18. Notably, her triumph at the 2022 Evian Championship marked her second major title, solidifying her position as a dominant force in the world of professional golf. With her 13 LPGA Tour victories as of January 2023, Henderson has secured her place as the most successful Canadian golfer across major professional tours, a testament to her exceptional talent and dedication to the sport.
Sponsorships and Corporate Partnerships:
Henderson’s success has attracted a range of corporate sponsorships and partnerships, including endorsements from prominent brands such as TaylorMade, Skechers Performance, RBC, Sunice Golf, and IMG, among others. Her collaboration with various organizations and companies has not only elevated her professional profile but has also underscored her status as a leading figure in the world of golf. Henderson’s commitment to excellence both on and off the golf course has solidified her position as a prominent figure in the world of sports and a role model for aspiring athletes.
23. Nelly Korda (Golf)
Nelly’s Age and Earnings:
Age: 25 Years
Latest Annual Earnings: $5.4 Million
Personal Background and Recognition:
Coming from a family with a strong sporting background, including her father’s successful tennis career and her sister’s presence in the LPGA Tour, Nelly Korda has continued the family’s legacy of athletic excellence. Her inclusion in the Forbes ’30 under 30 list’ underscored her significant impact and recognition in the sports world, solidifying her status as a prominent figure in golf.
Before her successful professional career, Nelly Korda showcased her talent as an amateur golfer. In 2015, she was a member of the U.S. Junior Solheim Cup team, setting the stage for her future success. As an amateur, she won the 2015 Harter Hall Invitational and the 2015 PING Invitational. Her notable performance also included making the cut at the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open, an impressive feat achieved just before she turned 15.
Professional Career and Breakthrough:
Korda embarked on her professional career in 2016, starting on the Symetra Tour. She clinched her first professional victory at the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge, earning her LPGA Tour card for the following year. Her breakthrough came in 2018 when she won the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship, marking her first LPGA Tour title.
During 2019, Korda continued to make her mark, securing significant victories at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and the Lacoste Ladies Open de France. The year 2021 was a standout year for Korda, marked by four victories, including her first major win at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. She further cemented her success by claiming the gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
International Representation and Achievements:
Apart from her individual achievements, Korda has represented the United States in various prestigious golfing events, including the Solheim Cup and the Junior Solheim Cup. Her notable performances in these team competitions have highlighted her versatility and competitiveness, further adding to her illustrious career in golf.
24. Caroline Garcia (Tennis)
Garcia’s Career Ranking & Achievements:
Age: 30 Years
Career Highest Ranking: 4 (10 September 2018)
Latest Annual Earnings: $5.2 Million
Early Career and Junior Success:
Caroline Garcia, born on October 16, 1993, demonstrated her promising talent early in her career, reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon in 2011. Her impressive junior ranking of 5 on December 12, 2011, showcased her potential on the professional circuit.
Rising Through the Ranks:
Throughout the early 2010s, Garcia gained momentum, making notable appearances in various Grand Slam tournaments, including the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon. Notably, her early matches against top-seeded players, including Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams, garnered attention and earned her respect within the tennis community.
Breakthrough and WTA Tour Success:
Garcia’s breakthrough came in 2014 when she clinched her first WTA Tour singles title at the Copa Claro Colsanitas in Bogotá, defeating former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic. She continued her ascent in the rankings, achieving her career-high ranking of No. 4 in 2018 after impressive performances at the US Open and other major tournaments.
Doubles Dominance and Major Victories:
Caroline Garcia has also been a dominant force in doubles, notably winning two major titles at the French Open in 2016 and 2022, partnering with Kristina Mladenovic. Their success as a team was acknowledged by their prestigious WTA Doubles Team of the Year award in 2016.
Struggles and Resurgence:
Garcia faced personal and professional challenges, including a battle with bulimia nervosa, after suffering a foot injury and a loss of form. She overcame these challenges with the support of her family and friends and returned to the sport with a renewed passion and focus.
Recent Achievements and Career Highs:
In 2022, Garcia achieved significant milestones, including winning the WTA Finals singles championship and returning to her career-high ranking of world No. 4. Her success in both singles and doubles continues to solidify her position as one of the leading French tennis players of her generation.
Playing Style and Endorsements:
Known for her powerful groundstrokes and accurate serves, Garcia has established herself as an offensive baseliner with a strong net game, exemplified by her success in both singles and doubles. She is sponsored by Yonex for her clothing and racquets, and New Balance for her shoes, and serves as a spokesperson for Sothys, a French cosmetics company.
25. Garbine Muguruza (Tennis)
Garbine’s Career Ranking & Achievements:
Age: 30 Years
Career Highest Ranking: 1 (11 September 2017)
Latest Annual Earnings: $5.2 Million
Early Career and Junior Success:
Life and Career:
Garbiñe Muguruza Blanco, the Spanish-Venezuelan former professional tennis player, left an indelible mark on the sport during her active years. Notably, she clinched two Grand Slam singles titles, triumphing at the 2016 French Open and the 2017 Wimbledon Championships, in addition to her 2021 WTA Finals victory. Throughout her career, Muguruza amassed ten WTA Tour titles and secured a career-high singles ranking of world No. 1, displaying an aggressive all-court playing style characterized by powerful groundstrokes and a formidable first serve, which could reach speeds of up to 113 mph (182 km/h).
Her breakthrough on the WTA tour was witnessed at the Miami Open in 2012, where she reached the fourth round, defeating two Top Ten players. In 2015, Muguruza made her mark at the Wimbledon Championships, reaching her first major final, albeit falling to Serena Williams. Additionally, Muguruza found success in doubles, claiming five titles and finishing as the runner-up at the 2015 WTA Finals, often partnering with Carla Suárez Navarro.
Career Statistics and Grand Slam Performances:
Throughout her career, Muguruza showcased impressive performances across various Grand Slam tournaments, reaching the latter stages consistently. Her notable showings at prestigious events included consecutive French Open finals appearances in 2016 and 2017, with a victory in 2016 against Serena Williams. Muguruza’s strong displays at Wimbledon and the Australian Open further solidified her reputation as a formidable contender on multiple surfaces, earning her a commendable win percentage and an enduring legacy in the world of professional tennis.
Coaching Journey and Style of Play:
Muguruza experienced different coaching partnerships throughout her career, being initially coached by Alejo Mancisidor until 2015. Subsequently, she joined forces with Sam Sumyk, only to part ways in 2019. Later, Muguruza reunited with Conchita Martínez, a former coach during her triumphant 2017 Wimbledon journey.
Known for her explosive playing style, Muguruza’s game was built around her flat, powerful groundstrokes, enabling her to dictate baseline rallies. Despite her aggressive approach, Muguruza exercised strategic restraint, avoiding excessive risk-taking and prioritizing calculated shot selection over outright winners.
Endorsements and Philanthropy:
Muguruza’s successful career on the court was complemented by her lucrative off-court ventures, including lucrative endorsements with notable brands like Adidas, Babolat, Rolex, Evian, Jaguar Cars, Nivea, Beats Electronics, and Maui Jim, among others. Her ambassadorship for Mazda Spain and BBVA bank underscored her influence and marketability as an athlete, as recognized by her inclusion as the 14th most marketable athlete by SportsPro in 2016.
Beyond her professional endeavors, Muguruza actively engaged in philanthropy, notably as an Ambassador for Room to Read, an international education NGO. She demonstrated a commitment to promoting early grade literacy and facilitating equal access to secondary education for girls, showcasing her dedication to making a positive impact beyond the world of sports.