Who Are The Highest Paid Female Athletes?

When people think about the highest paid and most lucrative athletes on the planet, they often think of men. There is truth to the statement that male athletes often receive higher pay, sponsorship money, and tournament earnings from the various sports they play than their female counterparts.

However, female athletes have made leaps and bounds over the past decade. As more people show interest in women’s sports, women athletes are earning millions of dollars every year. Below are the top five highest-paid female athletes in 2021, some of whom make as much money as the highest-paid NBA players.

Top Five Highest-Paid Female Athletes

Who Are The Highest Paid Female Athletes?

1. Naomi Osaka: $37.4 million

The Japanese tennis star is one of the most famous youngsters in the sport at present. Osaka is already a multiple grand slam winner and has cemented her status as one of the top athletes in the world.

At one stage in 2021, Osaka held the number one ranking in the women’s game, showcasing her consistency over the past couple of years. That is why she has earned more than $37.4 million in the year so far.

Osaka earns most of her money from endorsements, as her tournament prize money is a little over $3.4 million for the year. That is why so many athletes are eager to take on deals from major companies around the world; they understand that a lot of the money in sport comes through sponsors.

Fans of Osaka will be happy to know that despite a tough ending to 2021 from a personal standpoint, she is raring to go for the tennis grand slams in 2022. 

2. Serena Williams: $36 million

Serena Williams

A tennis legend and one of the greatest female athletes of all time, Serena Williams is second on the list of highest-earning women sports players in 2021. 

Serena has total earnings in 2021 of $36 million, with almost all of that money coming through sponsorships and other endeavors. Despite competing in most of the major tennis tournaments in 2021, Serena was not able to go very far in any of them. As a result, her on-court earnings were slightly lower compared to previous years.

As she approaches the twilight of her career, Williams will be contemplating the next steps in her professional life. She is already a tennis legend but will be hoping to win one or two more grand slams before she calls it a day.

There is no surprise that even as her on-court presence wanes, compared to the likes of Osaka, Serena is still a financial juggernaut. Brands around the world want her in their commercials, which is why she should be high up on these lists for many years to come.

3. Ashleigh Barty: $13.1 million

Ashleigh Barty

An Australian tennis star, Ash Barty, is a former cricketer who decided to take up tennis professionally instead. Barty had some struggles when she first went onto the WTA circuit, but she quickly found her feet and is now one of the most experienced and decorated players on the tour.

Barty is a grand slam winner, having won Wimbledon in 2021. She may not have performed as expected at the Olympics or US Open, but she still managed to snag 2021 earnings of $13.1 million. A great deal of that money may have come from sponsorships, as her on-court earnings are similar to Naomi Osaka for this year.

The Australian has sponsorships from companies such as Head and FILA, while she is also a part of the Rado YoungStar family. Barty has relationships with car brand Jaguar, Australian food company Vegemite, and Banana Boat.

If Barty can improve her consistency in the grand slams and go on to win multiple slams in a given year, she could find herself at the very top of this list in 2022 or 2023.

4. Simona Halep: $10.9 million

Simona Halep

Another tennis star, Simona Halep, is one of the most experienced women on the WTA circuit. The Romanian has held the ranking of number one on the WTA circuit between 2017 and 2019.

Even though Halep is not currently at the top of her game, she is still a fearsome competitor who often goes deep in grand slams. That is why her earnings in 2021 stand at $10.9 million, putting her in fourth place on this list.

Halep has two grand slam titles to her name, winning Wimbledon in 2019 and the French Open in 2018. She has also won 20 WTA titles across her career.

Halep’s impressive earnings in 2021 have a great deal to do with her sponsorship arrangements with major brands around the world. The Romanian has a deal with clothing giant Nike, Swiss watch brand Hublot, tennis company Wilson, self-care brand Avon, Coca-cola Romania, and more.

Also read: Business lessons you Must Learn from Sports Manager

5. Bianca Andreescu: $8.9 million

Bianca Andreescu

Canadian tennis superstar, Bianca Andreescu, shows that women’s tennis is the highest paying sport in the world. Not only do the athletes earn as much money as the men for competing in the four grand slams, but they are also known worldwide to millions of fans and casual followers of the sport.

Andreescu has never been world number one, but she has held the no.4 ranking on the WTA circuit in the past few years. Her earnings for 2021 total $8.9 million at present. 

One of the feats that no one can take away from Bianca Andreescu is that she is the first Canadian tennis star to win a grand slam, also the first to win the Canadian Open tennis tournament for more than 50 years.

Andreescu holds sponsorship deals with companies such as Nike, Head, Copper Branch, BMW Canada, and Rolex. Her appeal in Canada is extensive, which is why many companies are happy to pay her close to a million each year to include her in various photographic and video advertisements.


Put Money on Your Favorite Female Athletes

What better way to elevate your enjoyment of watching sports than putting your money on the games you enjoy the most? 

If you are an avid follower of women’s sports, such as tennis, soccer, gymnastics, and more, you may want to take your viewing experience to another level.

Placing modest wagers on games involving female athletes is a great way to have even more fun while watching, as you may find yourself even more invested in the outcome of a given match.

Francis Nwokike

Francis Nwokike is a Social Entrepreneur and an experienced Disaster Manager. I love discussing new business trends and marketing tips. I share ideas and tips that will help you grow your business.

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