The 30 richest female athletes in sports
Over recent years, some of the greatest female athletes in history have made millions playing the sports they love. Whether it’s Danica Patrick breaking barriers in NASCAR, Maria Sharapova continuing one of the most dominant stretches in tennis history, or Venus and Serena Williams taking the world by storm, women have inspired fans for years. But which player has made the most money over the years? Read on to find out
Honorable mention — Blair O’Neal: $1 million
Since she was only 11 years old, Blair O’Neal has been playing golf. The former Arizona State University golfer won two NCAA Long Drive contests and even compted on the Golf Channel’s “Big Break: Dominican Republic.” There, she won MVP and an exemption to the 2011 LPGA Kia Classic.
O’Neal has not only appreciated a long and successful career in golf, but she has also established herself as a model as well. Named one of Sports Illustrated’s “Top 50 Hottest Athletes of All-Time,” O’Neal has made several appearances on Golf.com’s list of the “Most Beautiful Women in Golf.” She’s estimated to be worth $1 million.
Honorable mention — Ashley Kaltwasser: $1.5 million
American bodybuilding professional Ashley Kaltwasser is one of the most recognizable fitness and figure competitors in the world. Kaltwasser completed a three-peat at the Bikini Olympia contest, winning the contest in 2013, 2014, and 2015. She has been training for the sport since 2011, when her former high school track and field coach introduced her to the sport.
While she was still a track and field athlete, Kaltwasser competed in the indoor pentathalon. It’s safe to say the switch has been a major positive for her. Kaltwasser has won several fitness and figure competitions, and she has even had success as a fitness model on the side. She’s worth an estimated $1.5 million.
Honorable mention — Paige Spiranac: $3 million
A star golfer in college, Paige Spiranac has become one of America’s most popular social media personalities and professional golfers. Spiranac played college golf at the University of Arizona and San Diego State University, winning All-Mountain West Conference honors in two seasons and leading SDSU to its first conference championship.
In 2015, Spiranac went on to play professional golf on the Cactus Tour. With moderate success, including a professional victory, Spiranac decided to change lanes and begin a career in social media. Her golfing trick-shot videos have gone viral several times, and she now has millions of followers on social media.
Honorable mention — Surya Bonaly: $3 million
Three-time World silver medalist Surya Bonaly is one of the most recognizable figure skaters of all-time. The French superstar is a five-time European champion, the 1991 World Junior Champion, and a nine-time French national champion. Bonaly accumulated a ton of accolades throughout her impressive career, but she’s best known for a controversial moment that took place in a competition.
At the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, Bonaly became the only Olympic figure skater to land a backflip on one blade. Bonaly’s decision to perform the illegal move has been detailed in a Netflix docu-series titled “Losers.” She is estimated to have a net worth of about $3 million.
Honorable mention — Sasha Banks: $3 million
WWE star Sasha Banks is one of the most recognizable faces in professional wrestling. With six championships to her name, Banks has helped the WWE Divas go mainstream. The four-time Raw Women’s Champion was involved in the first women’s match to ever headline a NXT TakeOver, which was also the first Iron Woman match in WWE history, when she took on Bayley.
In 2016, Banks and Charlotte Flair became the first women to headline a WWE pay-per-view event and the first to compete in a Hell in a Cell match. In February 2019, she won the inaugural WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship with her teammate, Bayley. Banks is estimated to be worth $3 million.
Honorable mention — Alex Morgan: $3 million
Much has been said about how the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team has been underpaid over the years. Though she didn’t make the official list, 30-year-old team captain Alex Morgan makes it here as an honorable mention, with an estimated net worth of $3 million.
Morgan has been an elite goal scorer on the international stage, and much of the American team’s success can be attributed to her aggressive play and veteran leadership. That Morgan is the only soccer player to be mentioned on this list will probably continue the discussion of whether or not female soccer players are underpaid.
30. Ariya Jutanugarn: $4 million
With more than $3 million in prize money and $2 million in endorsements, Thai golfer Ariya Jutanugarn has become one of the richest female golfers on the planet. The 23-year-old has already done endorsement deals with more than 10 partners, including big-name brands like Titleist, Toyota, KBank, and Thai Airways.
Jutanugarn has tallied 10 LPGA Tour wins and two major championship victories to date. The two-time LPGA Player of the Year was the tour’s leading money winner in 2016 and 2018. Still at the young age of 23, Jutanugarn is estimated to be worth about $4 million. As she continues to compete, that number will likely grow quickly.
29. Sloane Stephens: $4 million
For years, Serena Williams and Venus Williams were the only American women to win a Grand Slam in tennis. In fact, when Sloane Stephens celebrated her first Grand Slam victory at the U.S. Open in 2017, she became the first American woman — who wasn’t one of the Williams sisters — to win a Grand Slam since 2002.
With several endorsements from major brands like Nike, Biofreeze, Colgate, Mercedes-Benz, and Rolex, Stephens has become one of the biggest names (and brands) in tennis. The 26-year-old tennis star is estimated to be worth roughly $4 million, but that number grows by the tournament.
28. Yani Tseng: $6 million
Taiwanese professional golfer Yani Tseng holds the record for the youngest player ever, male or female, to win five major golfing championships. From 2011 to 2013, Tseng was ranked No. 1 in the Women’s World Golf Rankings for 109 consecutive weeks. With 15 LPGA Tour victories throughout her career, Tseng has established herself as one of the best golfers alive.
Tseng has pocketed millions of dollars in prize money and sponsorship revenue throughout the years. But in 2010, the golfer reportedly rejected a sponsorship deal worth $25 million — which included access to a luxury villa and private jets — because it involved changing her citizenship to Chinese. Today, she’s worth an estimated $6 million.
27. Cristie Kerr: $7 million
With 20 LPGA Tour victories, Cristie Kerr has been one of the most prominent figures in women’s golf throughout the past two decades. Kerr won major championships at the U.S. Women’s Open in 2007 and Women’s PGA Championship in 2010. At age 41, she is still playing golf professionally.
Kerr has won millions of dollars in prize money over the years, and she’s worked with several sponsors as well. The golfer has been a positive force for breast cancer charities throughout her career, including donating $50 for every birdie she makes. Kerr is estimated to have a net worth around $7 million.
26. Paula Creamer: $8 million
Winner of the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open, Paula Creamer has won 10 LPGA tournaments to date. She won the 2005 Sybase Classic at the age of 18 years old, making her the LPGA’s second-youngest event winner in history. Creamer graduated from high school four days later.
Throughout the years, Creamer has seen her tournament winnings continue to grow. By the end of 2018, she had moved up the rankings to 10th on the all-time LPGA career money list. At age 33, Creamer is still competing — and adding to her already impressive prize winnings. Creamer’s net worth is estimated to be roughly $8 million.
25. Madison Keys: $8 million
2018 was a huge year for breakout star Madison Keys. The tennis player reached a pair of Grand Slam finals at the French Open and U.S. Open. She also won her first clay-court event at the Charleston Open that same year. Endorsed by Nike, Wilson, and Ultimate Software, Keys is making the big bucks — both in prize winnings and sponsorship revenue.
Though she has yet to put it all together and win a major championship, Keys remains one of the best tennis players around. Frequently labeled a successor to Serena and Venus Williams, Keys could break out at any minute. Her current net worth is estimated to be about $8 million.
24. Naomi Osaka: $8 million
Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka may be best recognized for her improbable victory over Serena Williams, in which Williams went viral for arguing with the chair umpire. Osaka, however, is much more than an individual who managed to beat Williams. In fact, she’s spent the majority of 2019 ranked as the world’s top tennis player.
After defeating Williams to win the U.S. Open in 2018, Osaka followed up her victory with an Australian Open win in 2019. Her rise to stardom has earned her millions of dollars, as well as sponsorship with some of the biggest brands in sports, including both Adidas and Nike. She’s estimated to have a net worth of $8 million.
23. Inbee Park: $9 million
South Korean golfer Inbee Park has been a household name in women’s golf for years. The 31-year-old has earned the No. 1 Women’s World Golf ranking on four separate occasions. Park has won seven major championships over the course of her career, including three consecutive major wins during the 2013 season.
One of just seven players to capture a career Grand Slam, Park was the youngest player to ever win the U.S. Women’s Open, and the second — after Annika Sorenstam — to win the Women’s PGA Championship in three consecutive years. With plenty of endorsements and prize money, Park is estimated to be worth $9 million.
22. Elina Svitolina: $9 million
With 13 WTA Singles titles, Elina Svitolina has made a name for herself in tennis over recent years. The Ukrainian tennis player has scored victories over some of the best players in tennis, from Serena and Venus Williams to Angelique Kerber, Naomi Osaka, and Sloane Stephens. In fact, she has six wins over a Women’s World No. 1 tennis player to her name.
Svitolina’s success on the court has landed her deals with some of the biggest sponsors in sports, such as Nike and Wilson. She has made millions on and off the court and is estimated to have a net worth of roughly $9 million.
21. P.V. Sindhu: $10 million
The sport of badminton isn’t known for its abundance of highly paid athletes, but Indian badminton champion P.V. Sindhu is one of the highest earners in women’s sports. Considering badminton’s lack of worldwide popularity, most of Sindhu’s earnings come in the form of endorsement deals.
Sindhu has done deals with some high-profile brands, such as Panasonic, Nokia, and Gatorade. At the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Sindhu became the first Indian athlete to ever win a silver medal at the Olympics. The 24-year-old badminton player’s impressive career has put her net worth at an estimated $10 million. That number continues to grow with Sindhu’s continued success.
20. Ronda Rousey: $12 million
Perhaps best known for her record-breaking UFC career, Ronda Rousey is now retired from professional mixed martial arts. Nonetheless, she’s still one of the richest women in sports. Since her retirement from MMA, Rousey has signed with the WWE. Rousey may have suffered a stunning defeat to Holly Holm in the UFC, but she’s now raking in millions as a professional wrestler.
Rousey has consistently been among the top 10 highest-earning American female athletes, and she has even made a few appearances in some major movies. Previous deals, endorsement contracts, and her newest deal with the WWE put Rousey’s net worth at an estimated $12 million.
19. Garbiñe Muguruza: $12 million
Two-time Grand Slam winner Garbiñe Muguruza is just 25 years old, but the Venezuelan-born Spaniard is already one of the most accomplished players in tennis. She defeated Serena Williams in straight sets at the 2016 French Open, and a year later, she did the same to Serena’s sister Venus at Wimbledon.
Muguruza’s huge victory at Wimbledon resulted in a giant bonus from her sponsor, Adidas. The win also helped her land a massive deal with a new sponsor, Rolex. With additional endorsements from companies like Evian, Beats by Dre, and Maui Jim Sunglasses, Muguruza is worth an estimated $12 million.
18. Jelena Jankovic: $15 million
With 15 WTA singles titles and two doubles titles, Serbian tennis star Jelena Jankovic has become one of the world’s most successful (and richest) tennis players. Coached by her brother Marko, Jankovic was the world’s top-ranked women’s singles player for 17 consecutive weeks. In February 2009, Serena Williams took her place on the list.
Jankovic has since retired from tennis, but the former top-ranked player earned millions of dollars throughout her career. Much of that can be attributed to major sponsorship deals she’s done with brands like FILA, Reebok, and Anta. After years of competing, Jankovic is estimated to be worth roughly $15 million.
17. Lorena Ochoa: $15 million
Of the 173 LPGA events Lorena Ochoa competed in, she finished in the top three 63 times. The Mexican golfer is the best Latin American female golfer of all time, having spent 158 consecutive weeks ranked as the best female golfer in the world.
Now retired, Ochoa has received countless accolades for her accomplishments as a professional. In 2017, she was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. She was named one of Newsweek magazine’s 11 Most Powerful Women, and she was also one of Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year. Having retired comfortably, Ochoa is estimated to be worth $15 million.
16. Karolina Pliskova: $15 million
Czech tennis star Karolina Pliskova has been one of the most successful tennis players of the past half-decade. Currently ranked as one of the top women’s tennis professionals on earth, Pliskova is also a former world No. 1 player. Pliskova has won 14 singles and five doubles titles on the WTA Tour, as well as 10 more singles and six doubles titles on the ITF circuit.
Pliskova is an incredibly accomplished athlete, both in singles and doubles play. With years of success both on and off the court, the 27-year-old has seen her net worth grow all the way to roughly $15 million. She still has time left to climb even further up the list.
15. Karrie Webb: $15 million
The most successful Australian female golfer in history, Karrie Webb is one of the richest and winningest players in all of women’s golf. Webb has won 41 LPGA Tour tournaments, which ranks 10th of all time and first among all active players. The Aussie is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, and her career isn’t even over at this point.
Webb’s massive run of success in the LPGA dates all the way back to 1995. The Hall of Famer has racked up several million dollars in winnings over the years, and she is currently estimated to be worth about $15 million.
14. Victoria Azarenka: $15 million
When Victoria Azarenka defeated Maria Sharapova at the 2012 Australian Open, she became the first Belarusian tennis player to win a Grand Slam singles title. Azarenka wasn’t done there, though. In 2013, she defended her title against Li Na. In addition to winning back-to-back Australian Open titles, Azarenka has won 20 WTA singles titles to date.
In 2012, Azarenka ranked No. 1 on the Women’s World Golf Rankings. The 30-year-old has made millions in prize money and endorsements over the years. With an estimated net worth of $15 million, it’s safe to say Azarenka is one of the richest female athletes alive.
13. Ana Ivanovic: $16 million
Now retired, Serbian tennis player Ana Ivanovic got her first breakthrough when she narrowly defeated Venus Williams in the second round of the 2004 Zurich Open. By 2008, she had climbed all the way to the No. 1 spot in Women’s World Golf Rankings after winning the French Open. But Ivanovic’s career didn’t go quite as some might’ve hoped.
After reaching the top ranking, Ivanovic saw her rank slip all the way to number 64. That was just two years after she was the top tennis player in the world. But despite the ups and downs, Ivanovic is worth an estimated $16 million at the end of her career.
12. Lindsay Davenport: $21 million
One of only five women who have been the year-end World No. 1 tennis player at least four times, Lindsay Davenport racked up dozens of victories (and millions of dollars in earnings) throughout her career. Davenport spent 17 years as a professional, and she won 93 WTA titles (55 singles and 38 doubles).
Davenport excelled in both singles and doubles play, but she became a star as a singles player. She won three Grand Slams in singles competition, earning an induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2014. At the end of her career, Davenport is estimated to have a net worth of $21 million.
11. Yuna Kim: $21 million
South Korean figure skater Yuna Kim has been one of the best skaters of the past decade. Kim is the first South Korean figure skater to ever win a medal at an ISU Junior or Senior Grand Prix event. The figure skater has been so successful, she is widely regarded as the athlete who brought the 2018 Olympics to South Korea.
Kim had retired by 2018, but not before securing several massive endorsement deals with brands like Nike, Samsung, and Hyundai. The figure skater also modeled for jewelry brand J. Estina. Kim’s decorated career has put her estimated net worth at about $21 million.
10. Agnieszka Radwanska: $25 million
Fan favorite Agnieszka Radwanska has totaled 20 WTA singles titles over the course of her career. The Polish tennis player climbed to a career-high No. 2 ranking in 2012, after reaching her first career Grand Slam final at Wimbledon and losing to Serena Williams.
Radwanska was voted the WTA’s Fan Favorite Singles Player every year from 2011 to 2016, and she won the Shot of the Year award five times. With 14 singles titles throughout her career, Radwanska became one of the most popular players of her generation. The former tennis star is estimated to have a net worth of $25 million.
9. Simona Halep: $30 million
With 19 WTA titles and six ITF titles, Simona Halep is one of the best active tennis players in the sport. The Romanian star broke out in 2015, winning three singles titles and finishing as the runner-up in two more tournaments. Already among the top five on the all-time prize money list, Halep is well on her way to becoming one of the richest female athletes ever.
Halep won the French Open in 2018 and Wimbledon in 2019, triggering lucrative bonuses. Her success on the court, paired with heavyweight sponsors like Nike, Wilson, and Mercedes-Benz, has made Halep worth an estimated $30 million at just 27 years old.
8. Angelique Kerber: $30 million
German tennis player Angelique Kerber is one of the sport’s biggest active stars. In 2016, she won both the Australian Open and U.S. Open and became the top-ranked player in the world. Two years later, she won another championship trophy at Wimbledon. As of 2019, she has 12 WTA titles and 11 ITF titles.
Kerber has done sponsorship deals with several major brands, including Adidas, SAP, Generali, NetJets, Yonex, Porsche, Rolex, Lavazza, and Head & Shoulders. The tennis star has been one of the best players in the sport over the past decade, and as a result, her net worth sits at an estimated $30 million.
7. Caroline Wozniacki: $30 million
With 30 WTA titles and four ITF titles to her name, Caroline Wozniacki has put together a wildly successful career to date. Still just 29 years old (as of 2019), the Danish tennis star is well on her way to retiring as one of the richest tennis players in history.
Wozniacki is already one of the greatest athletes Denmark has ever produced. The tennis star has been recognized for her success, teaming up on endorsement deals with big brands like Adidas, USANA, and Rolex. She’s worth an estimated $30 million, but that number will likely climb as she continues to compete.
6. Li Na: $50 million
Chinese tennis star Li Na left a lasting legacy on the sport. In 2011, she became the first Asian player to ever reach the Australian Open finals. At the French Open that same year, she became the first Asian-born player to win a Grand Slam singles event. Na won the Australian Open in 2014, achieving a career-best World No. 2 ranking.
The same year she won the Australian Open, Na retired from professional tennis. Na’s impressive career, coupled with several major endorsement deals, helped the Chinese superstar retire as one of the richest players tennis has ever seen. She has an estimated net worth of $50 million.
5. Anna Kournikova: $50 million
Though she’s one of the biggest names in women’s tennis, Anna Kournikova never actually won a Grand Slam singles title. The Russian player was forced to retire at just 21 years old due to injury. The retirement came as a major shock, considering Kournikova reached the No. 8 ranking in 2000.
Though her tennis career fell short of expectations, Kournikova found a new place to thrive. The former tennis star raked in millions from major endorsement deals and modeling campaigns. Kournikova’s celebrity helped her overcome the career-ending injury she sustained, and she’s now worth roughly $50 million. Not too shabby!
4. Danica Patrick: $60 million
Easily the most successful female race car driver of all time, Danica Patrick has become an icon in American culture throughout the years. In 2005, Patrick set a record as the first woman to ever lead the Indy 500. Three years later, she became the first woman to win a race in the IndyCar Series.
Patrick’s racing success in a sport traditionally dominated by men put her on the pop culture radar, and she immediately became one of America’s most popular athletes. The driver’s success on and off the track landed her some lucrative endorsement deals, which have helped her estimated net worth grow to roughly $60 million.
3. Venus Williams: $95 million
The older of the two Williams sisters, Venus Williams is a seven-time Grand Slam singles winner and regarded as one of the greatest female tennis players in the history of the sport. Despite her astronomical success as an athlete, Williams earns a significant portion of her income off the court.
Williams is estimated to earn up to $100,000 for each of her public speaking gigs, she is a grand ambassador for EA, and she owns her own clothing line called EleVen. Williams has 49 singles titles, several successful off-the-field ventures, and an estimated net worth of $95 million. Not bad.
2. Serena Williams: $180 million
Surprisingly, Serena Williams is not the richest female athlete on Earth. (Well, at least not by today’s estimates.) Williams has won 39 Grand Slam titles, including 23 singles championships. In total, the tennis superstar has totaled 72 WTA tournament wins throughout her career, which spans back to 1995.
Williams has spent hundreds of weeks atop the Women’s World Tennis Ranking, which has led to countless major endorsements with some of the biggest brands in sports and entertainment. Williams has worked with companies like Lincoln, Beats by Dre, Nike, and JPMorgan Chase. She has also launched her own fashion collection. Williams is worth an estimated $180 million, but she’s not done yet.
1. Maria Sharapova: $195 million
Superstar Russian tennis legend Maria Sharapova is the richest female athlete on the face of the Earth, and quite possibly the richest female athlete of all time. She’s held the Women’s World No. 1 ranking in singles on five separate occasions, and she is the only Russian to hold the career Grand Slam.
With nearly two decades of prize money and monster endorsement deals under her belt, Sharapova is worth an estimated $195 million. She has worked with brands like Nike, Evian, and Porsche, and she even runs her own candy company, called Sugarpova. Sharapova’s five Grand Slams and 40 singles titles are impressive, but her net worth is probably what makes her competition the most jealous.