Serena Williams easily tops Forbes' list of highest-earning female athletes

Forbes' list of top-earning female athletes is dominated by tennis players, and as is so often the case among tennis players, Serena Williams stands at the top. The list, which covers June 2017-June 2018, has Williams making just $62,000 in prize money in that span. However, Williams' $18 million in endorsements more than makes up for the difference, and it's nearly double the amount of longtime rival Maria Sharapova, who makes $9.5 million in endorsement money.

Williams, of course, played just three tournaments and one Grand Slam in that span. She played the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, the Miami Open and the French Open. She made it to the fourth round of the French Open before pulling out due an injury prior to a bout against Sharapova. Prior to these tournaments, she missed over a year due to her pregnancy and subsequent maternity leave, so naturally Williams wasn't able to spend much time on the court.

Williams, who made $19 million in endorsements in 2017, has grabbed the top spot three years running. Sharapova dominated the earnings before her ban for testing positive for meldonium in 2016, which lost her several major advertising partners.

Other tennis stars on the list include Australian Open winner Caroline Wozniacki, French Open winner Simona Halep, Wimbledon winner Angelique Kerber and last year's US Open winner Sloane Stephens. Venus Williams is also on the list in sixth.

The first non-tennis player is in seventh. P.V. Sindhu, a badminton player, who made $8.5 million. Moving out of the realm of racket sports, former racer Danica Patrick is in ninth with $7.5 million. While Williams is the highest-paid female athlete in the world, according to Forbes, she didn't even crack the top 100 of its list on the highest-paid athletes in the world, which was topped yet again this year by Floyd "Money" Mayweather. 

Here's the top 10 in its entirety:

  1. Serena Williams (tennis) -- $18.1m
  2. Caroline Wozniacki (tennis) -- $13m
  3. Sloane Stephens (tennis) -- $11.2m
  4. Garbine Muguruza (tennis) -- $11m
  5. Maria Sharapova (tennis) -- $10.5m
  6. Venus Williams (tennis) -- $10.2m
  7. P. V. Sindhu (badminton) -- $8.5m
  8. Simona Halep (tennis) -- $7.7m
  9. Danica Patrick (racing) -- $7.5m
  10. Angelique Kerber (tennis) -- $7m
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