This year is all about Serena Williams as the 34-year-old tennis champion is now the highest paid female athlete in the world. In the course of a year, Williams raked in $28.9 million after winning three of four Grand Slam championships and receiving various name brand endorsements.
Williams won her first grand slam back in 2002 and has now amassed a total of 22 grand slam titles since then. Her career prize money amounts to $77.6 million, totaling twice the amount collected by any other female athlete although she has not been the overall highest paid since 2004.
According to Forbes, Williams picked up endorsements from brands such as 'Audemars Piguet, Beats Electronics, Burlei, Delta Airlines, IBM, Kinder Joy, Mini and Wheels Up' in addition to her long standing endorsements with Gatorade and Pepsi Cola. Williams new title as highest paid female athlete in the world breaks an 11 year streak held by Maria Sharapova.
Williams unseated former highest paid female athlete Sharapova after the fallout of the Russian-born tennis champion failing a drug test at the Australian open earlier this year. In light of the scandal, Sharapova lost endorsements from brands such as Nike, American Express, Porsche, and Tag Heuer.
While Williams now holds the number one spot, eight of the top ten highest paid female athletes are also tennis players. The list also includes newcomer Spaniard Garbiñe Muguruza who most recently bested Williams in the 2016 French Open. The only non-tennis athletes to crack the top ten are UFC standout Ronda Rousey, and driver Danica Patrick.
Were there any surprises in this year's list of highest paid female athletes? Let us know which ones surprised you.