Forbes has unveiled its top 10 highest-paid female athletes of 2014. Seven out of the 10 spots were claimed by tennis athletes. Maria Sharapova grabbed the top spot for the second consecutive year, with fellow tennis compatriots Li Na and Serena Williams trailing behind her at the second and third places, respectively.
The current list did not come as a surprise because the same 10 athletes from the 2013 list are the ones who made it on the recently revealed highest-paid list, only they were randomly scrambled over.
Forbes' Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes (Total Earnings, Prize Money, Endorsements)
1. Maria Sharapova ($24.4 million, $2.4 million, $22 million)
Despite missing most of the 2013 tennis season, Maria Sharapova remained the highest-paid female athlete because of her endorsements with Nike, Porsche, Samsung Electronics, Tag Heuer, Evian, and Head, according to Forbes. Recently, Sharapova was named as the new endorser of Avon Products for a new line of perfume for men and women. Sharapova's contract with Avon Products is reportedly worth $1 million per year. In 2013, the Russian tennis star also claimed the top spot of Forbes' highest-paid athletes and amassed a total earnings of $29 million.
2. Li Na ($23.6 million, $5.6 million, $18 million)
China's Li Na swapped places with Serena Williams, who was at the second place in 2013. Forbes said that Li Na's endorsement deals sky-rocketed after she won the Australian Open title in January. She received a huge bonus from Nike as a result of winning her second career title. In addition to Nike, Li Na has sponsorships with Mercedes, Samsung, Rolex, and other local brands in China.
3. Serena Williams ($22 million, $11 million, $11 million)
Serena Williams is at the third spot with $22 million earnings. Reportedly, Williams' prize winnings were more than what Sharapova has earned. However, the Russian beat her in terms of earnings off the tennis court. Williams has deals with Nike, Wilson, and Gatorade among many others.
4. Kim Yuna ($16.3 million, $300,000, $16 million)
Kim Yuna leaped two places to reach the fourth spot of the current list. Some of the 23-year-old South Korean figure skater's official sponsors are Samsung and Hyundai Motor Company. She also has a number of deals with local brands and has appeared in commercials in South Korea.
5. Danica Patrick ($15 million, $7 million, $8 million)
Danica Patrick has retained the same amount of earnings for two consecutive years. She ranked fifth in 2013 as well. The American racing driver has partnered with Motorola, XM radio, Go Daddy, and Coca-Cola. Forbes stated that she has more than 10 personal endorsements too.
6. Victoria Azarenka ($11.1 million, $3.6 million, $7.5 million) 4 - 15.7
Belarusian professional tennis athlete Victoria Azarenka dropped two places down and now positioned at the sixth place. Azarenka may have battled injuries in the current tennis season but she did well in the 2013 season, finishing at the second place in the World Tennis Association's (WTA) world rankings. She promotes Nike, Red Bull, and Citizen, to name a few.
7. Caroline Wozniacki ($10.8 million, $1.3 million, $9.5 million)
Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, who just suffered a major heartbreak after her fiancé broke off their engagement is seated at the seventh spot, the same as her rank in the 2014 list. She is one of the richest female tennis athletes. Wozniacki just signed a deal with Adidas. She is currently competing in the 2014 Western & Southern Open and has already advanced in the third round of the tournament.
8. Agnieszka Radwanska ($6.8 million, $3.8 million, $3 million)
Agnieszka Radwanska became the first athlete to endorse Cheesecake Factory. In addition to the restaurant company, the 25-year-old Polish athlete has reportedly signed a three-year deal with Rado, a luxury watch manufacturer, joining the likes of Andy Murray and Julia Georges. She has also partnered with car manufacturer Lexus and a number of international brands such as Babolat and Lotto Sport Italia.
9. Ana Ivanovic ($6.4 million, $1.4 million, $5 million)
Ivanovic has won three titles in 2014. She claimed titles in Auckland, Monterrey, and Birmingham. According to Forbes, Ivanovic has a lifetime endorsement with Adidas.
10. Paula Creamer ($4.5 million, $1 million, $4.5 million)
Paula Creamer is one the most successful female athletes in the sporting world of golf. Citizen, Ricoh, and Bridgestone Golf are just some of the companies that Creamer promotes. On March 2, 2014, Creamer took home a prize money of $210,000 at the HSBC Women's Championships.