It’s no secret that male professional athletes can rake in some seriously big bucks — New England Patriots QB Tom Brady’s two-year, $41 million contract, for example — but how do their female counterparts stack up? While there is indeed a pay gap between male and female athletes, some women at the top of their respective sports can earn some pretty serious salaries. According to Forbes, these are 10 highest female athletes with the highest earnings between June 2015 and June 2016.
Total Annual Earnings: $6.2 million
The only Canadian on the list, tennis player Eugenie Bouchard brought in $700,000 in prize money with the rest of her earnings coming from sponsorship deals with Nike, Rolex and Usana.
9. Victoria Azarenka
Total Annual Earnings: $6.6 million
With $3 million in endorsements and $3.6 mil in prize money, the Belarusian athlete was once ranked #1 in the world (her current standing is #12), and she has corporate partnerships with Nike, Wilson, Citizen and Esurance.
8. Ana Ivanovic
Total Annual Earnings: $7.3 million
The Serbian tennis star took in $1.9 mil in prize money, with the remainder of her earnings coming from deals with such companies as Dubai Duty Free and Shiseido.
7. Garbine Muguruza
Total Annual Earnings: $7.6 million
Spain's Garbine Muguruza took in $4.6 million prize money — including a $2.3 million win over Serena Williams at the French Open. In addition, she also brought in $3 mil in endorsement deals, with sponsorship partners including Adidas.
6. Caroline Wozniacki
Total Annual Earnings: $8 million
Formerly the #1 ranked player in the world, the Danish tennis great has seen her standing fall significantly over the past year, earning only $1 million in prize money. However, she continues to be involved in lucrative sponsorship deals, to the tune of $7 million in 2016, primarily from her relationship with Adidas.
5. Agnieszka Radwanska
Total Annual Earnings: $10.2 million
Ranked #2 in the world, the Polish tennis player racked up earnings of $5.2 million in prize money and another $5 million from endorsements from such companies as Lotto, Babalot, Lexus, Workday, Rado and Amica.
4. Danica Patrick
Total Annual Earnings: $13.9 million
With race winnings of $7.9 million and endorsement deals worth another $6 mil, NASCAR driver Danica Patrick was sent scrambling for sponsorships after longtime sponsor Nature's Bakery reportedly reneged on its three-year, $45 million deal in early 2017.
3. Ronda Rousey
Total Annual Earnings: $14 million
Once the most feared woman inside the Octagon, Ronda Rousey was dealt a stunning blow in November 2015 during her seventh title defense, losing to Holly Holm. After a year away from the sport, Rousey fought Amanda Nunes in December 2016, only to be knocked out in 48 seconds. Despite the loss, Rousey earned $3 million for the match. Whether her latest loss impacts her millions in endorsement deals, however, remains to be seen.
2. Maria Sharapova
Total Annual Earnings: $21.9 million
The Russia-born tennis star won $1.9 in prize money during 2016, but really raked it in when it came to endorsements, which were estimated at $20. That number will likely drop significantly in 2017, however; after Sharapova failed a drug test at the Australian Open, she received a two-year ban from the sport (so no prize money!) and saw Nike and Porsche suspend their endorsement deals, while Tag Heuer and American Express dropped her altogether. On the bright side, some sponsors — including Avon and Evian — are sticking with the five-time Grand Slam winner.
1. Serena Williams
Total Annual Earnings: $28.9 million
While tennis great Serena Williams took in $8.9 million from tournament prize money, she was paid an additional $20 million in endorsements, making her 2016's highest-paid female athlete. In addition, her career earnings from prize money—a whopping $77.6 million—is more than twice as much won by any other female athlete.