Serena dethrones Sharapova to become the world’s highest-paid female athlete

Serena Williams has finally defeated former nemesis Maria Sharapova to become the highest grossing female athlete in the world

Despite her recent French Open loss to Spanish fourth seed Garbine Muguruza, Williams has finished top of Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid women in sport. Her prize winnings and endorsements for the past 12 months total $28,9 million (R431,4 million), pushing Sharapova down into second.

Sharapova, who earlier this year during the Australian Open tested positive for newly banned substance meldonium, lost massive endorsement deals after major sponsors including Nike, Porsche and Tag Heuer cut ties with her.
Serena dethrones Sharapova to become the world’s highest-paid female athlete
In second place, Sharapova’s earnings amount to $21,9 million (R326,7 million) over the same period.

Williams, who won her first Grand Slam title in 1999 and currently holds 21 titles, has earned around $77,6 million (R1,1 billion) in prize money during the course of her career.

JPMorgan Chase head of Sports and Entertainment, Frank Nakano, told the International Business Times that “a number of factors” are taken into consideration when potential partnerships are evaluated.

“Serena’s excellence on court, her work in the community and her following in pop culture are a few things which set her apart and are complementary to our brand,” he said.

Mixed martial arts star Ronda Rousey took third place, rising from eighth last year with earnings of $14 million (R208 million), ahead of Nascar driver Danica Patrick who earned $13,9 million (R207,4 million) over the past year.

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