The 15 Highest-Paid Female Athletes in the World

Illustration of female athlete wearing a gold medal

Whether it’s by winning a championship or through a lucrative endorsement with Nike, female athletes make a great deal of money throughout their careers. From the likes of Serena Williams to Alex Morgan, these famous ladies have established successful careers in sports, generating staggering earnings that you and I could only dream of.

So, to discover who are the 15 highest-paid female athletes in the world, along with their total earnings in 2019, read on and find out! (Just don’t get too envious!)

15. Ariya Jutanugarn

Ariya JutanugarnGolf Digest

Profession: Golfer

Nationality: Thai

Age: 23

Total earnings: $5.3 million

At just 23 years old, Thai professional golfer Ariya Jutanugarn has landed herself on Forbes’s list of the highest-paid female athletes. Not only was Jutanugarn the number one ranked golfer in the Women’s World Golf Rankings in 2017, but she also went on to win the LPGA Tour’s Race to CME Globe Season, rewarding her with a $1 million bonus. And that’s not all: the successful golfer has more than 10 endorsements with renowned brands including Titleist, Toyota, Kasikornbank and Thai Airways.

13. Madison Keys (tie)

Madison KeysImaginechina-Editorial /

Profession: Tennis player

Nationality: American

Age: 24

Total earnings: $5.5 million

Watch out Serena Williams; there’s another female tennis player on her way to take the throne! Madison Keys raked in over $5 million this year after reaching the 2017 US Open final and winning her first clay-court event at the Charleston Open in 2019. You may have spotted her advertising for Nike, who has been sponsoring her since she was 14. Keys also has partnerships with other labels like Evian, Wilson and Ultimate Software, which total up to earnings of $3 million.

13. PV Sindhu (tie)

PV SindhuNews18

Profession: Badminton player

Nationality: Indian

Age: 24

Total earnings: $5.5 million

Neck and neck with Madison Keys is famous badminton player PV Sindhu. The sports star has become India’s most sought-after female athlete after being the first Indian to win the season-ending BWF World Tour finals tournament in 2018. This year, she won gold at the 2019 World Championships, making her an even bigger star in her league and rounding up her prize money to $500,000. Not even halfway through her 20s, Sindhu has already bagged major endorsements with Bridgestone, JBL, Gatorade and Panasonic, which have contributed $5 million to her total earnings.

12. Alex Morgan

Alex MorganGoal

Profession: Football player

Nationality: American

Age: 30

Total earnings: $5.8 million

Alex Morgan proves that women can play football by going down as one of the greatest US women’s soccer players of all time. Considered the most esteemed player in the US Women’s National Team, it’s believed that Morgan has earned an estimated $5.5 million from endorsements alone. She’s endorsed the likes of Nike, Coca-Cola and AT&T, but her partnerships don’t seem to be ending there. She also starred in the Nickelodeon movie Alex & Me, as well as penned The Kicks, a four-book series.

10. Garbiñe Muguruza (tie)

Garbiñe MuguruzaImaginechina-Editorial /

Profession: Tennis player

Nationality: Spanish-Venezuelan

Age: 25

Total earnings: $5.9 million

After being ranked as #2 in the world in 2017, and famously beating Serena Williams in the French Open back in 2016, Garbiñe Muguruza has earned herself a prestigious name in the tennis world. Her impressive portfolio includes adding seven WTA titles to her name and advocating for brands including Adidas, Evian, Beats, Rolex and Babolat. She may have dropped in rankings to #28, but Muguruza maintains a high pay in women athletics, including prize money that amounts to $2.4 million.

10. Venus Williams (tie)


Profession: Tennis player

Nationality: American

Age: 39

Total earnings: $5.9 million

Sports star, sister to Serena Williams and successful entrepreneur Venus Williams is a proud 23-time Grand Slam champion and 4-time Olympic gold medallist with staggering earnings under her belt. The tennis player has her own YouTube channel that focuses on fitness and wellness, but most of her pay comes from entrepreneurship ventures including a clothing line, EleVen, and an interior design company, V Starr Interiors. Williams has also invested in wellness brand Astura and has shares of an NFL team with her sister.

9. Elina Svitolina

Elina Svitolinakatatonia82 /

Profession: Tennis player

Nationality: Ukrainian

Age: 25

Total earnings: $6.1 million

It’s no surprise that tennis player Elina Svitolina is one of the richest female athletes – she was crowned champion at the WTA Finals in Singapore in 2018 and was rewarded with a whopping $2.4 million for the win. With other sports successes such as entering the 2019 US Open as the No 5 seed and reaching the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows, Svitolina’s prize money amounts to $4.6 million. The remaining $1.5 million is due to sponsorships with the likes of Nike and Wilson.

8. Karolina Plíšková

Karolina PlíškováImaginechina-Editorial /

Profession: Tennis player

Nationality: Czech

Age: 27

Total earnings: $6.3 million

Yet another tennis player makes it to Forbes’s list of the richest female athletes in the world. Karolina Plíšková has raked in most of her income thanks to big wins ($4.6 million in prize money) including 14 singles and 5 doubles titles on the WTA tour and 10 singles and 6 doubles titles on the ITF circuit. Plíšková proudly signed a new contract with FILA in 2019, which has rounded up her endorsement earnings to $1.7 million.

7. Maria Sharapova

Maria SharapovaSky Sports

Profession: Tennis player

Nationality: Russian

Age: 32

Total earnings: $7 million

Tennis superstar Maria Sharapova has reaped in a staggering $7 million not just for being one of the world’s top athletes but also a successful entrepreneur. She may have five Grand Slam titles, be an Olympic medallist and ranked world No 1 in singles by the WTA, but Sharapova has gained most of her income due to other successful ventures. These include having lucrative endorsements with Nike, Porsche, Head, Evian and TAG Heuer. Sharapova also owns a candy brand, Sugarpova, and has investments in the UFC and skincare brand, Supergoop!

6. Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline WozniackiWTA Tennis

Profession: Tennis player

Nationality: Danish

Age: 29

Total earnings: $7.5 million

Tennis players really are reigning the list of the highest-paid female athletes in the world. Caroline Wozniacki ranks at 6th place with total earnings of $7.5 million. Her successes include winning the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore, her maiden Grand Slam title at the 2018 Australian Open, and receiving a No 1 ranking in 2018. Famously married to NBA player David Lee, the tennis star is an endorser for Adidas and Godiva Chocolatier, while she has also recently entered into a partnership with Lympo.

5. Sloane Stephens

Sloane Stephensjctabb /

Profession: Tennis player

Nationality: American

Age: 26

Total earnings: $9.6 million

Making the French Open final and the US Open quarterfinal in 2018 and reaching the quarterfinals of the French Open in 2019 has merited Sloane Stephens with fantastic total earnings of $9.6 million this year. She famously finished 2018 as the sixth-ranked player. The tennis icon now sits at 11th in rankings but is still bringing in the cash thanks to an endorsement deal with Nike. Other partnerships and sponsorships have brought the sports star’s endorsement revenue to an astounding $5.5 million.

4. Simona Halep

Simona HalepWTA Tennis

Profession: Tennis player

Nationality: Romanian

Age: 27

Total earnings: $10.2 million

Finishing as WTA’s top-ranked player in both 2017 and 2018, winning her first-ever Grand Slam in 2018, and defeating Serena Williams at Wimbledon this year are just a few accolades Simona Halep has achieved. The top tennis star ranks fifth on the all-time list with $33 million in overall career earnings. Big names in her library of endorsements include Nike, Wilson, Mercedes-Benz and Hublot.

3. Angelique Kerber

Angelique KerberThe National

Profession: Tennis player

Nationality: German

Age: 31

Total earnings: $11.8 million

The German tennis player is one of the richest female sports stars with a successful history behind her. Angelique Kerber won Wimbledon in 2018 and was ranked second in the world that same year. These achievements have spawned bonuses and new deals from her partners like Adidas, SAP, Generali and NetJets. The athlete’s endorsement earnings total $6.5 million as a result of deals with renowned names like Yonex, Porsche, Rolex and Lavazza. Kerber also signed a new contract with Procter & Gamble’s Head & Shoulders, proving that her earnings aren’t dropping anytime soon.

2. Naomi Osaka

Naomi OsakaZhukovsky /

Profession: Tennis player

Nationality: Japanese American

Age: 21

Total earnings: $24.3 million

At the mere age of just 21, Naomi Osaka has landed herself as the second-highest paid female athlete in the world. The professional and very successful tennis player not only nabbed a deal with Nike (formally with Adidas) but she also became more recognised after beating Serena Williams at the finals of the 2018 US Open. The young star has more incredible victories under her belt, including another Grand Slam win in the 2019 Australian Open. Most of her earnings are through her Nike partnership (totalling to $16 million), while her prize winnings measure up an approximate $8.3 million.

1. Serena Williams

Serena Williams at the 2019 Australian Openzhukovsky /

Profession: Tennis player

Nationality: American

Age: 37

Total earnings: $29.2 million

Living the life of the rich and successful is female athlete and famous tennis legend Serena Williams. The 37-year-old sports star is officially the highest-paid female athlete in the world, making a staggering $29.2 million this year. Winning several Olympic gold medals, as well as 23 Grand Slam singles titles, Williams’ success doesn’t end there. Of her $29.2 million earnings, $25 million were made as a result of her several endorsements and entrepreneurship ventures, including her very own clothing line S by Serena. The world-class tennis player is set to remain as one the richest celebrities in the game by launching jewellery and beauty products lines by the end of 2020.

Which female athlete is your favourite? Is there anyone you didn’t expect to see on this list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.