The top ten highest paid female athletes are dominantly tennis players, but participants of other sports have managed to sneak their way onto the list including female golfers, figure skating, and even auto racing. The highest paid female athletes make a good deal of money considering they make more than the majority of NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL players. Here are the top ten highest paid female athletes of 2013:
Salary: $5.5 million
Paula Creamer is the highest paid female golfer in the world. As a professional, she has won 11 tournaments, of which 9 were LPGA Tour events. Most notably she won the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open. Creamer is currently ranked number 2 in the Women’s World Golf Rankings. Creamer is heavily involved in charity work and has helped raise money for an organization called The First Tee, which helps junior golfers. She currently maintains several endorsements from Taylor Made, Adidas, Citizen Watch, CDW, and Ricoh.
Salary: $7 million
Competing as a professional since 2005, Ana Ivanovic has won a total of 11 WTA singles titles, including one Grand Slam singles title. Time magazine included Ivanovic as one of the 30 Legends of Women’s Tennis: Past, Present, and Future. She was also included on the list of the Top 100 Greatest Players ever by reporter Matthew Cronin. Her breakthrough occurred during the 2004 Zurich Open where she qualified and beat Venus Williams in the second round of two tiebreak sets. Since 2008, Ivanovic has struggled to make the Grand Slam, but due to her huge lifetime contract with Adidas, she continues to be one of the highest paid female athletes in the world.
Salary: $7.4 million
Noted for constructing points and making intelligent use of the court, the 24 year-old Polish tennis player, Agnieszka Radwanska has won twelve career singles titles. For the past 2 years in a row, Radwanska has been voted the WTA’s favorite player by fans around the world. She recently landed a large endorsement by the athletic apparel company Lotto. Earlier in 2013, she created quite the uproar when she posed naked this year in the ESPN The Magazine’s annual “Body” issue.
Salary: $13.6 million
Ever since her WTA debut in 2005, Caroline Wozniacki has improved her year-end ranking each year until she finished top in both 2010 and 2011. Over the course of her career she has won more than 20 WTA singles titles and was runner-up at the 2009 US Open and the 2010 WTA Tour Championships in Doha. The 23 year-old Danish Tennis player earned one of the most lucrative sports endorsements in history this year with Adidas. Wozniacki has made headlines recently with her relationship with golfer Rory McIlroy.
Salary: $14 million
Sport: Figure Skating
South Korean, Kim Yuna is the highest-paid female figure skater in the world. The 22 year-old is the first South Korean figure skater to win a medal at the ISU Junior or Senior Grand Prix event, ISU Championship, and the Olympic games. After her rise to prominence she has become one of the most recognized athletes and media figures in South Korea. Kim Yuna is also the current record holder for ladies in the short program, free skating, and the combined total under the ISU Judging System. Throughout her career she has broken 11 world records, including 8 of which she set herself. Off the ice Kim has donated more than $1.7 million to various charities including awarding 6 scholarships every year to 6 young skaters.
Salary: $15 million
Sport: Auto Racing
Danica Patrick is the highest-paid female athlete in the world who is not a tennis player. In fact, she competes in auto racing, a sport dominated by men. Without a doubt, Patrick is the most successful woman in the history of open-wheel racing. In 2008, after winning the Indy Japan 300, she became the first and only woman to win any Indy Car Series Race. Her third place finish in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 also made her the highest finish ever there by a woman driver. More recently, Patrick has started competing in NASCAR as well. This year she become the first female to win a NASCAR Spring Cup Series pole when qualifying for the Daytona 500. Not only that, she turned in the fastest qualify lap on the track since 1990.
Salary: $15.7 million
Having been born in Minsk, Belarus, Victoria Azarekna is currently ranked as the number 2 by the WTA. In the 2012 Summer Olympics in Long she earned a bronze medal in singles and a gold medal in doubles. Her other achievements include two mixed doubles Grand Slam titles and two Australian open titles. Azarekna’s debut occurred during 2003, in Israel where she won the doubles title with countrywoman Olga Govortsova. Throughout the years she has maintained a heated rivalry with the Williams sisters and Sharapova.
Salary: $18.2 million
Li Na was born in Wuhan, China. Her rise to prominence began in 2011 when she reached two Grand Slam finals and won the prestigious French Open title. The win made her the first Asian-born tennis player to have ever won a Grand Slam singles event. Since then Li Na has become one of the most well-known and marketable athletes in the world. She has received major endorsements from Nike, Samsung, Rolex, Visa, Mercedes, and a number of different Chinese companies. Even Time magazine named Li Na as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, which is quite the honor, especially considering only 4 athletes worldwide made the list.
Salary: $20.5 million
Currently ranked number 1 in women’s singles tennis, Serena Williams is the oldest number 1 player in the history of the WTA. She is also the only female player to have won over $40 million in prize money over the course of her career. Williams is the current reigning French Open, US Open, WTA Tour Championships, and Olympic ladies single champion. Arguably the best female tennis player of all time, Williams holds the most Major singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles in history. Over the years, Williams has won 4 Olympic medals, an all-time record she shares with her younger sister Venus. Outside of tennis, Serena is also quite the businesswoman. She is a part owner of the Miami Dolphins along with her sister Venus. The Williams are the first African-American females to obtain ownership in a NFL franchise. Williams is also heavily involved in a number of charities. In 2008, money she contributed helped fund the construction of the Serene Williams Secondary School in Mantooni, Kenya.
Salary: $25.0 million
Born in Nyagan, Russia, Maria Sharapova has quickly become one of the best tennis players in the world. As of August 2013, she is currently ranked number 3 in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association and is the number 1 Russian player. Having moved to the United States in 1994, Sharapova has won 29 WTA singles titles including 4 Grand Slam singles titles. Her professional breakthrough came in 2004 at the age of 17 when she defeated the defending champion and top seed Serena Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final. In 2012, Sharapova won the Olympic silver medal in the London Olympics.
Featured image: Flickr by Justin Smith