It’s good to be Serena Williams.
Even though she spent most of year adjusting to motherhood, Serena Williams is –according to Forbes — once again far and away the highest paid female athlete on Earth for the third straight year.
Despite earning just $62,000 in prize money from tennis this year, Serena has made more than $18 million over the past year thanks to a number of lucrative ad and endorsement deals. Serena’s endorsements include Nike, Intel, JPMorgan Chase, Lincoln, Gatorade, and Beats by Dre.
Overall, Serena is the 17th highest paid athlete and of the 10 highest paid women, seven of them are tennis players including Sloane Stevens (No. 3) and Serena’s older –- and equally accomplished –- sister, Venus Williams (No. 6).
“She has a lethal combination as the best to play the sport and the story she has with Venus, breaking through as African-American tennis players,” says Matt Fleming of the Marketing Arm, which tracks the marketability of more than 4,500 celebrities. “Now, as a mother, it adds another layer of attractiveness from a marketers’ standpoint.”
The U.S. Open, which was the first tournament to offer equal prize money to men and women in 1973, begins next week in New York City, and Serena stands to add to the money total. A victory, which would be her record-setting 24th major championship, would net her $3.8 million — the biggest prize tennis history.
Rounding out the top five – all of which are tennis players – are Caroline Wozniacki ($13.1 million), Stephens ($11.2 million), Garbiñe Muguruza ($11 million) and Maria Sharapova ($10.5 million).
The Williams Sisters also ranked Nos. 1 and 2 as the most marketable female athletes. Gymnasts Simone Biles (No. 4) and Gabby Douglas (No. 6), along with track star Allyson Felix (No 9.) also made the list.