International tennis sensation Maria Sharapova has topped the Forbes list of the world’s top ten highest paid female athletes for 2014, with Chinese tennis star Li Na Li Na close behind.
Serena Williams, the 19-time Grand Slam title winning tennis star, at No 2, and South Korean figure skater Kim Yuna coming in at No 4 with a total earnings of $16.3 million.
1. Maria Sharapova (Total earnings: $24.4 million)
Prize money: $2.4 million
Endorsements: $22 million
At only 28 years of age, Maria Sharapova does not earn the most on the court, but thanks to multiple endorsement deals, she was the top earner at $24.4 million. Maria Sharapova is also the highest paid female tennis player in the world.
2. Li Na (Total earnings: $23.6 million)
Prize money: $5.6 million
Endorsements: $18 million
Chinese tennis star Li Na hauled in $23.6 million, with $5.6 million in prize money and the rest through multiple endorsements.
3. Serena Williams (Total earnings: $22 million)
Prize money: $11 million
Endorsements: $11 million
Propelled by $11 million in prize money, the younger of the Williams sisters, Serena earned $22 million in total income last year. But despite career earnings of almost double that of rival Sharapova, Williams simply cannot match the Russian when it comes to endorsements.
4. Kim Yuna
Total earnings: $16.3 million
Prize money: $300,000
Endorsements: $16 million
South Korean figure skater Kim Yuna earned approximately $16.3 million on top of winning a silver medal in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
5. Danica Patrick
Total earnings: $15 million
Salary/winnings: $7 million
Endorsements/licensing: $8 million
Patrick sits 28th in the Nascar standings, Danica Patrick earned $15 million despite having no Sprint Cup wins and limited top-ten finishes. Danica Patrick is arguably as well known outside racing for her sponsorship with GoDaddy.
6. Victoria Azarenka
Total earnings: $11.1 million
Prize money: $3.6 million
Endorsements: $7.5 million
Azarenka, the second ranked female tennis player in 2013, pulled in $11.1 million with $7.5 million in endorsements from Nike and Red Bull, among others.
7. Caroline Wozniacki
Total earnings: $10.8 million
Prize money: $1.3 million
Endorsements: $9.5 million
The tennis star and up-and-coming men’s golf star Rory McIlroy ended their engagement last year, but it seemed to work out well for both. Wozniacki earned $10.8 million, propelled by $1.3 million in prize money and a lucrative deal with Adidas.
8. Agnieszka Radwanska
Total earnings: $6.8 million
Prize money: $3.8 million
Endorsements: $3.0 million
The Polish tennis star earned $6.8 million, with $3.8 million in prize money and a sponsorship from the Cheesecake Factory.
9. Ana Ivanovic
Total earnings: $6.4 million
Prize money: $1.4 million
Endorsements: $5.0 million
The “comeback kid” of sorts with respect to earnings, Ivanovic won three tennis tournaments in 2014 and earned $6.4 million total in 2014, buoyed by a lifetime contract with Adidas.
10. Paula Creamer
Total earnings: $5.5 million
Prize money: $1.0 million
Endorsements: $4.5 million
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