25 Highest-Paid Female Athletes in the World

In recent years, there has been much talk about the gender pay gap in sports. A small case analysis of the 2019 Forbes’ list of highest-paid athletes would clearly bring out the discrimination. The list showed a cut off mark for the top 100 to be $25 million, meaning only Serena Williams qualified among the highest-paid female athletes. She ranked sixty-third in the list. Many of the richest female athletes stand nowhere close. Since there are various reasons suggesting why this pay gap takes place, this saddening divide cannot be blamed on anybody. The only thing we can discover from the list is that Tennis is the highest-paid female sport. Here you go:

Highest Paid Female Athletes 2020
Highest Paid Female Athletes 2020

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 necessarily distance themselves from the arena for childcare. Even the biggest female athletes failed to stand anywhere near to the top 30-40 of the male athletes. This is a matter of grave concern and requires more discussion. 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 to a million dollars, which is a hard fact and highly disappointing. 

Highest Paid Female Athletes
Highest Paid Female Athletes

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:

Table of Contents

1. Serena Williams (tennis)

serena williams net worth: Highest paid female athletes

Serena’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 38 Years
Top Career Ranking: 1 (June 2010)
Net Worth: $200 Million
Latest Annual Earnings: $29.2 Million

The living legend, Serena Williams is accorded the 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 most number of Grand Slams in all categories, Serena led the list of highest-paid female athletes in 2019. While she earned only $4.2 million in prize money, $25 million came in the form of endorsements and investment incomes. One of the richest female athletes, Serena endorses brands like Nike, Delta, and earns from her clothing brand, S by Serena. She plans to launch jewelry and beauty products by the end of this year. Serena is one of the prime reasons as to why Tennis is the highest-paid female sport.

2. Naomi Osaka (tennis)

Naomi Osaka net worth: Highest paid female athletes

Naomi’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 22 Years
Top Career Ranking: 1 (January 2019)
Net Worth: $16 Million
Latest Annual Earnings: $24.3 Million

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’s growing fame makes her a brand favorite, she has so far been sponsored by Adidas, Yonex, Nissan, Citizen Watch, and several Japanese companies. Naomi also ensures that Tennis remains the highest-paid female sport.

3. Angelique Kerber (tennis)

Angelique Kerber net worth: Highest paid female athletes

Kerber’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 32 Years
Top Career Ranking: 1 (September 2016)
Net Worth: $30 Million
Latest Annual Earnings: $11.8 Million

Becoming the oldest player to achieve the number 1 spot for the first time in WTA rankings, Kerber accomplished the impossible. Rising in fame since her feat at the 2011 US Open, Kerber swayed multiple brands towards her. The German tennis celeb has endorsements from Yonex, Adidas, SAP, Rolex, and many more. Kerber’s role in inspiring millions got her the title of UNICEF Ambassador for children. One of the richest female athletes, Kerber ranked third in the list of highest-paid female athletes in 2019. 

4. Simona Halep (tennis)

Simona Halep net worth

Simona’s career ranking & achievements:

Age: 28 Years
Top Career Ranking: 1 (October 2017)
Net Worth: $30 Million
Latest Annual Earnings: $10.2 Million

Breaking into the top 50 in 2011, top 20 in 2013, and the top 10 the next year, the tennis superstar has never left the list since. No wonder, she constantly appears among the richest female athletes of all time. In the last six years, she has grown massively popular which is why brands have come running to her. The Romanian pride secured the fourth position in the Forbes’ list of highest-paid female athletes in 2019. Sponsored by brands like Hublot, Mercedes Benz, and Nike, Sloane makes quite a living!

5. Sloane Stephens (tennis)

Slo: ane Stephens net worthHighest paid female athletes

Sloane’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 27 Years
Top Career Ranking: 3 (July 2018)
Net Worth: $4 Million
Latest Annual Earnings: $9.6 Million

WTA Comeback Player of the Year 2017, Sloane went on a winning spree after returning from an injury. Her recovering boost propelled her to reach the career-high of rank 3 within a year, after 2018 Wimbledon. The magnitude of her speedy success caught the eyes of many. Since 2018, she received endorsements from Head, Nike, Mercedes Benz, American Express, and so on. Therefore she constantly appears on the list of highest-paid female athletes. Simona is following the footsteps of Serena to keep Tennis at the top and to remain the highest-paid female sport.

6. Caroline Wozniacki (tennis)

Caroline Wozniacki net worth: Highest paid female athletes

Caroline’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 29 Years
Top Career Ranking: 1 (October 2010)
Net Worth: $30 Million
Latest Annual Earnings: $7.5 Million

The WTA Newcomer of the year 2008 soon became a sensation and earned the top spot within two years. With 30 WTA Singles titles to her credit, Caroline highlighted the Scandinavian strength worldwide. She secured sixth place in the rankings of highest-paid female athletes in 2019, after winning her maiden Grand Slam title the previous year. The tennis superstar got married last year and announced her retirement in December. Throughout her career, she endorsed brands like Adidas, Rolex, Babolat, and recently partnered with Lympo. 

7. Maria Sharapova (tennis)

Maria Sharapova net worth: Highest paid female athletes

  

Maria’s best ranking & achievements:

Age: 33 Years
Top Career Ranking: 1 (August 2005)
Net Worth: $135 Million
Latest Annual Earnings: $7 Million

One of the greatest tennis players ever, Maria is known to have changed the game forever. Standing out as the highest-paid female athlete for eleven consecutive years in her 19 years of professional career, Maria did what others only dreamt! She has 36 Singles titles to her name which includes five Grand Slams. Featuring as the world’s most famous female athlete on multiple occasions, Maria attracted numerous brands in the first two decades of this century. Her endorsements consist of Porsche, Head, Nike, Evian, and so on. In addition to this, she has vested interest in UFC while running her own candy brand Sugarpova. Maria led in the movement which made Tennis the highest-paid female sport.

8. Karolina Pliskova (tennis)

Karolina Pliskova net worth: Highest paid female athletes

Karolina’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 28 Years
Top Career Ranking: 1 (July 2017)
Net Worth: $15 Million
Latest Annual Earnings: $6.3 Million

Former world No. 1 and winner of sixteen singles and five doubles WTA titles, Karolina is the pride of the Czech Republic. Since her extraordinary feat at 2016 US Open, Karolina received lots of endorsements. On signing a sponsorship contract with FILA in 2019, she found a spot in the highest-paid female athletes of the year. She is a big name in the ITF circuit and is beginning to shine her flair in the Grand Slams. 

9. Elina Svitolina (tennis)

Elina Svitolina net worth

Elina’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 25 Years
Top Career Ranking: 3 (September 2017)
Net Worth: $12 Million
Latest Annual Earnings: $6.1 Million

On winning the 2018 WTA Finals held in Singapore, Elina received a staggering amount of $2.4 million as prize money. Elina is a  famous Ukrainian tennis player, best known for defeating the world no. 1 on six different occasions. On reaching the semifinals of US Open and Wimbledon in 2019, Elina proved successful for her sponsors like Wilson and Nike. It was not surprising to find her among the highest-paid female athletes in 2019.

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10. Venus Williams (Tennis)

Venus Williams net worth

Venus’ best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 39 Years
Top Career Ranking: 1 (February 2002)
Net Worth: $95 Million
Latest Annual Earnings: $5.9 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. Featuring 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.

11. Garbine Muguruza (Tennis)

Garbine Muguruza net worth

Garbine’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 26 Years
Top Career Ranking: 1 (September 2017)
Net Worth: $12 Million
Latest Annual Earnings: $5.9 Million

Featuring once again on the list of highest paid female athletes, Garbine has continued with her accomplishments. The Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player is best known for her groundstrokes and aggressive service. Off-court, she is known for big brands like Beats, Rolex, Adidas and so on. Besting a career high in 2017, Garbine has seven singles’ and five doubles’ titles to her credit. All her fans want her to see in the top 10, be it the list of WTA rankings or highest paid female athletes.

12. Alex Morgan (Soccer)

Alex Morgan net worth

Alex’s best ranking & achievements:

Age: 30 Years
Top Career Ranking: 2 (2019 FIFA Rankings)
Net Worth: $3 Million
Latest Annual Earnings: $5.8 Million

A living legend in the world of women’s soccer, Alex has led her teams to victories at multiple clubs and international levels. Helping the US National Team to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup twice in 2015 and 2019, Alex has a huge fan base. To support her journey to the 2023 FIFA, multiple brands have come up. Famous brands like Coca Cola, AT&T, Nike, and Volkswagen have identified themselves with her success. Featuring on magazine covers and appearing on a Nickelodeon show, Alex undoubtedly fixed a spot on the list of highest-paid female athletes in 2019.

13. P.V. Sindhu (Badminton)

P.V. Sindhu net worth

Sindhu’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 24 Years
Top Career Ranking: 2 (Year 2017)
Net Worth: $10 Million
Latest Annual Earnings: $5.5 Million

The superstar shuttler, PV Sindhu is not only the highest-paid female athlete in India but the highest-paid in women’s badminton. Parallel to Madison’s annual income, Sindhu has an interesting ratio of her earnings. While she has earned $5 million from brand endorsements, only $50,000 reached her pockets as prize money. After winning the BWF Championships in 2019, she stepped on a pedestal of massive fame. Aiming for Olympic gold, Sindhu manages sponsorships with brands like Gatorade, JBL, Panasonic, Bridgestone and many more. Sindhu successfully gained the 13th place among the highest-paid female athletes in 2019. Badminton is the highest-paid female sport in India.

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14. Madison Keys (Tennis)

Madison Keys net worth

Madison’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 25 Years
Top Career Ranking: 7 (October 2016)
Net Worth: $8 Million
Latest Annual Earnings: $5.5 Million

Having won 5 singles titles in WTA tournaments, Keys has always appeared in the top 25 rankings since the year 2015. Becoming the first American to feature in the top 10 rankings in seventeen years after Serena Williams, Keys received an instant spotlight. Several brands came her way and Nike so far has provided her with the biggest endorsement. She also manages sponsorships from Wilson, Evian, and so on. With such growing popularity, it is no wonder for her to secure a place among the highest-paid athletes in 2019. 

15. Ariya Jutanugarn (Golf)

Ariya Jutanugarn net worth

Ariya’s best careee ranking & achievements:

Age: 24 Years
Top Career Ranking: 1 (Year 2018)
Net Worth: $12 Million
Latest Annual Earnings: $5.3 Million

An international golfer hailing from Thailand, Ariya has been able to build a star-like image at a very early age. With 11 professional wins and 10 LPGA tours, Ariya is a leading golfer in the present day. Achievements in the sport have earned major endorsements from Thai Airways, Toyota and K bank, etc. A leading face in golf, Ariya managed to take a place among the highest-paid female athletes in 2019. 

16. Danica Patrick (auto racing driver)

Danica Patrick net worth

Danica’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 38 Years
Top Career Ranking: 3 (Year 2008- Best by any woman ever)
Net Worth: $60 Million
2017 Annual Earnings: $12.2

The legendary open-wheel racer, Danica Patrick is among the richest female athletes in the world. In the past, she appeared multiple times on the list of highest-paid female athletes. All due to her prize money earnings and endorsements. She retired from her professional racing career after 2018, throughout her career she was sponsored by Coca Cola, Chevrolet, and Nationwide. After Danica’s historic career, many females have become ambitious which is why auto racing can surpass Tennis to become the highest-paid female sport.

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17. Ronda Rousey (wrestler)

Ronda Rousey net worth

Ronda’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 33 Years
Top Career Ranking: 3 (MMA All-Time Women’s Open)
Net Worth: $12 Million
2017 Annual Earnings: $11 Million

The first female fighter to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, Rousey is a leading figure in the MMA world. Appearing in several blockbuster movies like Expendables 3, Furious 7, and more, Rousey made a fortune living. Her feat as an Olympian and a WWE superstar received massive fan following. Brands came flocking towards her and offered their sponsorships. One of the richest female athletes of the present day, Rousey endorses brands like Reebok, Monster Headphones, and so on. MMA is a massive fighting arena for males, however, it is not the highest-paid female sport.

18.  Agnieszka Radwańska (Tennis)

Agnieszka Radwańska net worth

Agnieszka’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 31 Years
Top Career Ranking: 2 (July 2012)
Net Worth: $25 Million
2017 Annual Earnings: $7.3 Million

The Gold Cross of Merit awardee, Agnieszka is a former tennis player who remained a fan favorite throughout her career. She is the first Polish player to ever reach the Grand Slam finals and win the WTA Singles title. Reaching her career-high of number 2 in 2012, Agnieszka started finding herself among the highest-paid female athletes of all time. During her fantastic playing days, she endorsed brands like Lotto, Nexus, Rado, and so on. 

19. Eugenie Bouchard (Tennis)

Eugenie Bouchard net worth

Eugenie’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 26 Years
Top Career Ranking: 5 (October 2014)
Net Worth: $6 Million
2017 Annual Earnings: $7.1 Million

Appearing on the Forbes’ list of highest-paid female athletes in 2017, Eugenie attracted a large spectacle of followers. The first Canadian female player to feature in the top five WTA rankings, Eugenie established the pride of her nation. Endorsing famous brands like Coca Cola, Nike, and Babolat, she managed to live a life of style. In a tennis talk, she always stands out as one of the biggest female athletes of the present day.

20. Ana Ivanovic (Tennis)

Ana Ivanovic net worth

Ana’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 32 Years
Top Career Ranking: 1 (June 2008)
Net Worth: $16 Million
2017 Annual Earnings: $7.4 Million

With fifteen WTA Singles titles and superb style of play, Ana featured in Times- 30 Legends of Women’s Tennis. The retired Serbian tennis professional appeared on the Forbes’ list of highest paid female athletes in the last years of her career. Such earnings found her pocket due to her lifetime deal with Adidas and endorsements from major brands like Rolex.

21. Victoria Azarenka (tennis)

Victoria Azarenka net worth

Victoria’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 30 Years
Top Career Ranking: 1 (January 2012)
Net Worth: $15 Million
2016 Annual Earnings: $6.6 Million

Former world number 1 in WTA rankings, Victoria maintains her spot among the biggest female athletes of all time. She is credited with 20 WTA Singles titles and 8 WTA Doubles titles. Ascending to fame after accomplishing two Olympic medals and the first major title win, Victoria posted her career-high of rank 1. She had sponsors from brands like Citizen Watch, American Express, Yonex during her active career. Victoria ruled as one of the richest female athletes of all time.

22. Petra Kvitova (tennis)

Petra Kvitova net worth

Petra’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 30 Years
Top Career Ranking: 2 (October 2011)
Net Worth: $24 Million
2015 Annual Earnings: $7.7 Million

Turning professional in the year 2006, Petra is the leading left-handed tennis player in the world with 27 Singles titles. After five years, she reached the Grand Slam finals at the 2019 Australian Open and finished runner-up to Naomi Osaka. For fourteen long years, she has remained sponsored by UniCredit Bank, IMG, Nike, and Wilson. With all this, she is among the richest female athletes of all time.

23. Stacy Lewis (golf)

Stacy Lewis net worth

Stacy’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 35 Years
Top Career Ranking: 3 (Year 2012-2015)
Net Worth: $10 Million
2015 Annual Earning: $6.4 Million

With 14 professional wins including two major titles, Lewis is considered a golfing champ! At the age of 35, she frequently ranks among the richest female athletes in the world. Five years back, she was listed as one of the highest-paid female athletes in the world. Apart from prize money earnings, major endorsements from Fila and KPMG pump up her fortune living. 

24. Li Na (tennis)

Li Na net worth

Li’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 38 Years
Top Career Ranking: 2 (February 2014)
Net Worth: $50 Million
2014 Annual Earnings: $23.6 Million

The first Chinese tennis player to establish dominance in the world top ten, Li rose to prominence after her Grand Slam victories. Before retiring in 2014, she won nine WTA and nineteen ITF Singles titles. Throughout her fantastic career, she received endorsements from Babolat, IMG, and Nike. Inducted recently into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Li has inspired millions in the East Asian countries to take up the sport. Moreover, Li Na earned a hefty amount in 2014 and appeared on the list of the richest female athletes of all time.

25. Yuna Kim (figure skating)

Yuna Kim net worth

Yuna’s best career ranking & achievements:

Age: 29 Years
Top Career Ranking: 1 (Year 2008-2010)
Net Worth: $4 Million
2014 Annual Earnings: $16.3 Million

Probably the greatest name in the world of figure skating, Yuna Kim is the first female to win all the Grand Slam titles. The year 2010 Winter Olympics marked her sensational performance when she set world records in the Free Skate and Short Program. She had a combined total of 228.56. This achievement led her to feature among Times’ 100 most influential people in 2010. The frequent top ranker undoubtedly secured a spot among the richest female athletes as she endorsed brands like Samsung and Korean Airlines. Yuna appeared on this list, even though figure skating is not the highest-paid female sport.


Debojeet Chakravarty

I'm a first year grad student and have been exposed to the world of writing for over two years now. Though I'm new to the professional field of writing, I'm confident of finding myself in a suitable position that complements my style, very soon enough.

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