Maria Sharapova and her fellow top female tennis players Li Na, Serena Williams Victoria Azarenka are not just leading the WTA rankings list, they’re also at the top of the Forbes list of the World’s Highest-Paid Female Athletes.
Although the top ten list is filled with professional tennis players, it is the Russian Sharapova who is crowned number 1 thanks to the earnings of $27.1 million she is estimated to have accrued between July 2011 to July 2012. In addition to substantial prize money earnings thanks to her rise back to the top of the field, a substantial portion of that revenue is also down to her savvy brand endorsements and sponsorship.
The Chinese number 1 tennis player Li Na follows Sharapova on the list with a cool $18.4 million, doubled from last year’s estimated revenue of $8 million as a result of her 2011 victory at Roland Garros.
Third and fourth on the list are Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki, with $16.3 million and $13.7 million estimated to have been earned by each respectively, and motor racing specialist Danica Patrick is the only non-tennis player to make the top five on the Rich List. Other tennis players in the top 10 include Belarusian world number one Victoria Azarenka ($7.2 million) and Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska ($6.9 million).
The Top 10 Highest-Paid Female Athletes:
1.Maria Sharapova $27.1 million
2.Li Na $18.4 million
3.Serena Williams $16.3 million
4.Caroline Wozniakci $13.7 million
5.Danica Patrick (motor racing)$13 million
6.Victoria Azarenka $9.7 million
7.Kim Yu-Na (figure skating) $9 million
8.Ana Ivanovic $7.2 million
9. Agnieszka Radwanska $6.9 million
10.Yani Tseng (golf) $6.1 million