London | Tennis dominates Forbes list of nighest-paid female athletes

Eleven tennis stars feature in the Top 20 of the Forbes list of highest-paid female athletes, with Iga Swiatek topping the 2023 roll of honour, while Emma Raducanu placed fourth.

A few weeks ago, a different list compiled by Sportico had Coco Gauff at No 1 as the highest-paid female athletes in 2023, but the American is in 3rd place in the Forbes listing.

Swiatek successfully defended her Roland Garros crown this year, while she also won the WTA Finals, with her run at the season-ending event producing her biggest pay day of 2023 as she picked up a cheque of $3,078,000.

The 22-year-old earned $23.9 million in total in 2023, with $9.9m coming from prize-money earnings and, according to Forbes, $14m from off-court earnings.

Her Forbes endorsement earnings are slightly more than Sportico’s estimates, which had her total earnings at $21.9m, with $12m coming through sponsorship deals.

Freestyle skier Eileen Gu is No 2 on the Forbes list, with $22.1m in total earnings, of which a massive $22m coming from endorsements.

According to Forbes, Gauff earned $21.7m in 2023, with $6.7m coming from prize money and $15m from sponsorships.

The 19-year-old won her maiden Grand Slam when she lifted the US Open trophy in September, while she finished the year at a career-high of No 3.

Raducanu was the fourth highest-paid female athlete in 2023 on both lists, despite playing only 10 competitive matches during the year due to injury.

The 2021 US Open champion earned only $238k prize money, but she made $15m from commercial deals for a total of $15.2m, according to Forbes.

Naomi Osaka took the 2023 campaign off as she gave birth to her first child, a girl named Shai, in July, but she finds herself at No 5 with $15m through off-court earnings.

World No 2 and reigning Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka sits at No 6 with $14.7m in earnings ($8.2m in prize money and $6.5m endorsements), while World No 5 Jessica Pegula earned $12.5m ($6m on court, and $6.5m off), Venus Williams made $12.2m ($0.2m and $12m), World No 4 Elena Rybakina took $9.5m ($5.5m in prize money, $4m sponsorships) and World No 35 Leylah Fernandez took home $8.8m ($1.8m on court, $7m off it) completing the tennis representation in the Top 10.

Rising Chinese tennis star Qinwen Zheng made the Top 20 at No 15 with $7.2m earnings for 2023, while Ons Jabeur came in at 18th with $5.7m, and Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrosouva 20th with $5.2m.


Coco Gauff is listed by Forbes as the 2nd-highest female earner in tennis this year

© Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Forbes Top 20 Highest-Paid Female Athletes In 2023

  1. Iga Swiatek (Poland) Tennis – $23.9m
  2. Eileen Gu (China) Freestyle Skiing – $22.1m
  3. Coco Gauff (United States) Tennis – $21.7m
  4. Emma Raducanu (Great Britain) Tennis – $15.2m
  5. Naomi Osaka (Japan) Tennis – $15m
  6. Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) Tennis – $14.7m
  7. Jessica Pegula (United States) Tennis – $12.5m
  8. Venus Williams (United States) Tennis – $12.2m
  9. Elena Rybakina (Kazakhstan) Tennis – $9.5m
  10. Leylah Fernandez (Canada) Tennis – $8.8m
  11. Nelly Korda (United States) Golf – $8.2m
  12. Megan Rapinoe (United States) Football – $8.2m
  13. Candace Parker (United States) Basketball – $8.1m
  14. Alex Morgan (United States) Football – $7.8m
  15. Qinwen Zheng (China) Tennis – $7.2m
  16. Simone Biles (United States) Gymnastics – $7.1m
  17. P.V. Sindhu (India) Badminton – $7.1m
  18. Ons Jabeur (Tunisia) Tennis – $5.7m
  19. Brooke Henderson (Canada) Golf – $5.4m
  20. Marketa Vondrousova (Czech Republic) Tennis – $5.2m



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