Conclusions from compiling the list of the 10 highest paid female athletes in the world, topped by Maria Sharapova? Have your daughter play tennis if you want her to earn big, while NASCAR driving, golf and figure skating ain’t so bad either for those who are extremely good or extremely good looking, making up for professional mediocrity.
Yani Tseng (Golf) – $6.1 Million
The most successful golfer in the world over the last 30 months, male of female. Over the last 12 month Tseng has slowed down her major winning pace, last winning the British Open on July 2011, but has added six more LPGA titles, the last of them the KIA classic in May. At the age of 23, Tseng is on the verge of qualifying into the golf hall of fame.
Agnieszka Radwanska (Tennis) – $6.9 Million
The first Polish player to reach a Grand Slam final in the Open era, Radwanska, the current world number 2 and the finalist at Wimbledon, losing to Serena Williams, has banked nearly $5 million over the last 12 months, winning six single’s titles, including three Masters tournaments. Her sponsorship deals with Lotto, Babolat and Lexus added another $2 million to her bank account.
Ana Ivanovic (Tennis) – $7.2 Million
When you don’t win tournaments, at least be blessed with a pretty face and a great body. Currently ranked 12th in the world, Ivanovic won only one tournament over the last 12 months, but her huge Adidas deal makes up for her lack of success in Tennis tournaments.
Kim Yu-na (Figure Skating) – $9 Million
The only figure skater on the list, Yu-Na of South Korea took 2011-2012 off, but is planning on returning this Skating this, as the preparations for the Winter Olympics in Sochi 2014 begin. Yu-Na is the headliner in the All That Skate figure skating show and played a big part in South Korea winning the bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Victoria Azarenka (Tennis) – $9.7 Million
The current world number one and 2012 Australian Open champion, Azarenka has won five single’s titles over the last 12 months, earning just under $7 million, earning most of the rest from her endorsement deal with Nike. The 23 year old Belorussian spends most of her time, when she’s not travelling between tournaments, in Monte Carlo.
Danica Patrick (NASCAR) – $13 Million
Being a rarity in the world of racing, a woman, plus the fact that she’s rather easy on the eyes has helped propel Danica Patrick into super-stardom without really being too exceptional at the actual sport, beginning her NASCAR career in 2010, with her best finish being 4th at Las Vegas, the best finish by a woman in a NASCAR top-circuit. Her most recent sponsorship deals are with Coke Zero and Sega.
Carolina Wozniacki (Tennis) – $13.7 Million
The former world number one has had a rough 2012, reaching only two tournament finals over the last twelve months and not winning a tournament since New Haven back on August, 2011. Most of her money comes from sponsors like Adidas, Yonex, Proactiv, Rolex and Sony Ericsson, while also planning to release her own line of underwear this year.
Serena Willaims (Tennis) – $16.3 Million
Serena Williams bounced back from a very difficult 2011 due to medical problems, winning the 2012 Wimbledon title, her 14th career Grand Slam and first major since Wimbledon in 2010. Williams has won four more titles over the last 12 months and has earned more money from tennis than any other woman in history. Off the court, she makes most of her cash from Nike.
Li Na (Tennis) – $18.4 Million
Since winning the Roland Garros in 2011, Li Na has failed to make it past the fourth round in a Grand Slam tournament, making two more single’s tournaments finals. Still, her superstar status in china has kept thinks quite lucrative for the 30 year old, enjoying endorsement deals with Mercedes-Benz, Samsung Electronics and other Chinese companies.
Maria Sharapova (Tennis) – $27.1 Million
The biggest tennis star in the world, regardless of how well she is or isn’t doing. Blonde hair, supermodel looks while being one of the best in the world in her sport when her game is on makes it quite helpful being, by far, the highest paid female athlete in the world. Sharapova completed the career grand slam this year by winning the French Open, her first Grand Slam title since 2008, currently ranking third in the world. Her endorsement deal with Nike is the biggest in Women’s sport, while she enjoys growing sales from the Maria Sharapova collection, mostly from shoes and accessories for Nike subsidiary Cole Haan.