Serena Williams

Serena Williams has been named the highest paid female athlete by Forbes magazine.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion, tops the list for the third year running, despite taking a 14-month break from playing tennis following the birth of her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

Serena racked in $18.1m (R261m) thanks largely to her endorsement deals, with companies including Nike, Intel and Beats.

Matt Fleming, who runs Marketing Arm – which tracks athletes’ endorsement deals – says, since becoming a mother, Serena has become even more attractive to sponsors.

“She has a lethal combination as the best to play the sport and the story she has with Venus, breaking through as African-American tennis players. Now, as a mother, it adds another layer of attractiveness from a marketers’ standpoint.”

Serena Williams

Despite the vast amounts of money Serena earned in the past year, she is still made significantly less than the best paid male, Floyd Mayweather.


The former boxer racked in $285m (R4.1bn), thanks largely to the August 2017 fight versus Conor McGregor in Las Vegas which earned him $275m (R3.9bn).

Second on the list of highest paid female athletes is Australian Open reigning champion, Caorline Wozniacki, who earned $13m (R187m)

She is followed by three other tennis professionals in the top five; Sloane Stephens $11.2m (R161m), Garbiñe Muguruza $11m (R158m) and Maria Sharapova $10.5m (R151m).

The only non-tennis players in the top 10 are Indian badminton star P.V. Sindhu $8.5m (R122m) and racing’s Danica Patrick $7.5m (R108m).

Source: Forbes

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