The top ten highest-paid women in sport

The top ten highest-paid women in sport.
Photos: EPA and Backpagepix.

The top ten highest-paid women in sport right now

On this International Women’s Day we celebrate the ten highest-paid women in sport right now according to data from financial experts.

The top ten highest-paid women in sport

The top ten highest-paid women in sport.
Photos: EPA and Backpagepix.

Tennis dominates the top ten of the highest-paid women in sport with eight WTA Tour players in the top pay strata .

The top ten highest-paid women in sport

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A new generation of marketable female sports stars is now maturing and making millions of dollars. 

In fact, eight of the top-earning female athletes in the last year earned at least $10 million, which is more than double the number from a year ago and the most females to reach that milestone since Forbes started keeping track of it in 2008.

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10 Minjee Lee SPORT: GOLF | NATIONALITY: AUSTRALIA | AGE: 26 | ON-FIELD: $4.8 mil • OFF-FIELD: $2.5 mil

In addition to her triumph at the U.S. Women’s Open in June, the second major event in her career, Lee ended second in 2022 with $3.8 million, placing her in the top 10 of the LPGA Tour’s official money list for the fifth consecutive year. By winning the Aon Risk Reward Challenge, a season-long competition that rewards the golfer with the highest average score to par, she added a $1 million prize. Aon, a British financial services giant, is incidentally one of her sponsors, along with companies drawn to her South Korean roots, including Hana Bank and the clothing brand WAAC.

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Tennis dominates earners

9 Jessica Pegula SPORT: TENNIS | NATIONALITY: U.S. | AGE: 28 | ON-FIELD: $3.6 mil • OFF-FIELD: $4 mil

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Although she has yet to go to the semifinals of a Grand Slam, Pegula, the daughter of Buffalo Bills billionaire owners Terry and Kim Pegula, finished the season as the highest-ranked American tennis player at No. 3, four positions in front of Coco Gauff. After joining the talent agency GSE Worldwide in November, the late-blooming celebrity, who has her own skincare line called Ready 24, will try to expand on her endorsement relationships with Adidas, Yonex, and Ready Nutrition.

8 Simone Biles SPORT: GYMNASTICS | NATIONALITY: U.S. | AGE: 25 | ON-FIELD: $0 • OFF-FIELD: $10 mil

Simone Biles
Highest-paid women in sport: Twitter @TeamUSA

Biles is one of the few Olympic athletes who doesn’t appear to lose popularity in years without the Games. She appeared in new commercials for Powerade, Subway, and a Super Bowl ad for software company BMC in 2022 while also releasing an activewear line with Athleta. Biles was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in July. She also increased her stock position in cybersecurity company Axonius.

7 Coco Gauff SPORT: TENNIS | NATIONALITY: U.S. | AGE: 18 | ON-FIELD: $3.1 mil • OFF-FIELD: $8 mil

Many in the sport think it’s only a matter of time before Gauff wins a Grand Slam after she nearly made a breakthrough at the French Open, where she advanced to the singles and doubles finals. Her off-court earnings might be even higher if it weren’t for her agent, Alessandro Barel Di Sant Albano of Team8, and her parents, father Corey, who coaches her, and mother Candi, who homeschooled her. She recently signed an extension with New Balance that was rumored to come with a sizable pay raise. Her long-term potential have been prioritized, while tennis-related distractions and burnout risks have been kept to a minimum.

6 Venus Williams SPORT: TENNIS | NATIONALITY: U.S. | AGE: 42 | ON-FIELD: $0.1 mil • OFF-FIELD: $12 mil

Venus Williams participated in four tournaments in 2022, losing every match she played. A player with a world ranking of 1,007 would generally be rejected by traditional tennis sponsors. However Williams’ endorsement negotiations are considerably more focused on her celebrity than her Grand Slam results. She maintains a hectic speaking schedule as well,. She makes more than 30 appearances this year, each of which is compensated handsomely.

Top five highest-paid women in sport

5 Iga Świątek SPORT: TENNIS | NATIONALITY: POLAND | AGE: 21 | ON-FIELD: $9.9 mil • OFF-FIELD: $5 mil

Iga Swiatek. Photo: Roland-Garros
Highest-paid women in sport: Iga Swiatek. Photo: Roland-Garros

With her victories at the French Open and the US Open, Swiatek has won a total of three Grand Slam titles in singles, one more than Osaka and the most among active players not named Williams. By outpacing No. 2 Ons Jabeur in both ranking points and prize money, she took the top spot in the world rankings and on the list of winners for the year. In September, witek Swiatek secured a contract with IMG, the top tennis agency, to add to a list of endorsements that already included Asics and PZU, a Polish insurance provider.

4 Emma Raducanu SPORT: TENNIS | NATIONALITY: BRITAIN | AGE: 20 | ON-FIELD: $0.7 mil • OFF-FIELD: $18 mil

When Raducanu won the 2021 U.S. Open as an 18-year-old qualifier, it unleashed a wave of sponsorships, including those from British Airways, Dior, Evian, HSBC, Porsche, Tiffany, and Vodafone, in addition to Nike. Although the young British singer’s international singles ranking, which peaked at No. 10, has dropped to No. 80, marketers continue to find her to be quite appealing. To begin with, a recent study by the analytics company SponsorUnited discovered that she had the greatest average engagement of any female tennis player for her branded postings on social media.


Gu, who was born and raised in San Francisco but competes internationally for her mother’s country of China, solidified her ascent to prominence at the Beijing Olympics in February by taking home two gold medals and a silver. She has had success outside of the ski slopes as well. She is a Stanford University student currently and has a long list of sponsors, including Red Bull, Therabody, Louis Vuitton, Mengniu Dairy, and As a client of the influential agency IMG, she also models.

Tennis moguls

2 Serena Williams SPORT: TENNIS | NATIONALITY: U.S. | AGE: 41 | ON-FIELD: $0.3 mil • OFF-FIELD: $41 mil

Williams has moved away from tennis but retains considerable backing. Even if the break from the game is just momentary, she has taken use of the opportunity by booking a number of lucrative speaking engagements. She also has a venture capital firm that invests in more than 70 businesses and a new business she cofounded to offer topical pain relief medicines, so she has plenty to keep her busy. Additionally, she appeared in the recent movie Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

1 Naomi Osaka SPORT: TENNIS | NATIONALITY: JAPAN | AGE: 25 | ON-FIELD: $1.1 mil • OFF-FIELD: $50 mil

Injury-related setbacks plagued Osaka for much of the year, and the team lost a big sponsor when FTX filed for bankruptcy in November, just eight months after the partnership had been announced. Only six athletes on Forbes’ list of the 2022 greatest athletes earned more money off the field than she did ($50 million), but she still has one of the best sponsorship portfolios in sports. With the cofounding of a skin-care business, a production firm, a talent agency, and, starting of this month, an investment in a pickleball team, Osaka also maintains a busy schedule as an entrepreneur.