Athletes give their blood, sweat, and tears into their sports, and if they're lucky enough, they'll get a big paycheck in return. Here are the 25 highest-paid female athletes in 2022, according to Forbes.
25. Garbiñe Muguruza: $5.2 Million
This tennis player is known for her aggressive plays and her powerful serves. Garbiñe Muguruza starts off this list of the highest-paid female athletes in the world with an impressive $5.2 million.
Over the years, the Spanish-Venezuelan player has won two Grand Slam singles titles and competed in two Olympic Games. Muguruza doesn't leave it all on the court, either. The business-savvy tennis player has partnered with Rolex, Evian, Jaguar Cars, Beats Electronics, and is endorsed by Adidas.
24. Caroline Garcia: $5.2 Million
Hailing from Lyon, France, is tennis player Caroline Garcia. Garcia has made a name for herself in the game of tennis and is paid a nice salary of $5.2 million, per Forbes. Her career-high ranking is Number 2 in doubles and Number 4 in singles in the world. She won the French Open women's doubles in 2016 and 2022.
She also represented her home country of France in the Olympics. Garcia is a strong and consistent player known for her accuracy and two-handed backhand. She is sponsored by Yonex, a Japanese company, for her clothing and racquets. Garcia also has deals with New Balance and Sothys, which is a French cosmetics company.
23. Nelly Korda: $5.4 Million
Nelly Korda is swinging her way onto the list of the highest-paid female athletes in a big way. The 25-year-old has made a name for herself in the game of golf with an Olympic gold medal and a spot as the number one in the Women's World Golf Rankings. No wonder she earns an estimated $5.4 million.
Combined with her prize money and endorsement deals with Nike, TaylorMade, US LBM, and LivPur. It all runs in the family, too. Her older sister, Jessica, also plays on the LPGA Tour, her parents are retired professional tennis players, and her brother has won tennis championship titles.
22. Brooke Henderson: $5.4 Million
Brooke Henderson has made a name for herself in the game of Canadian golf. She has the most victories of any Canadian golfer, with 13 LPGA wins, and she won her second major title at the 2022 Evian Championship. It's a family affair for the Hendersons. Brooke's father is her coach, while her sister is her caddy.
In addition to her salary earnings, she has quite a few corporate sponsorships, which round out her estimated earnings to $5.4 million. Some of Henderson's sponsorships include Skechers, TaylorMade, Royal Bank of Canada, Rolex, Canadian Pacific, BMW, and more. There are no sand traps around here.
21. Megan Rapinoe: $5.7 Million
From her colorful hairstyles to her many titles, Megan Rapinoe is one of the most recognizable athletes in the world. She has scored over 60 goals for the US Team, including three during the 2012 Olympics that helped to clinch the gold medal. It's easy to see why she has an estimated earning of $5.7 million.
Rapinoe has also won the Ballon d'Or Féminin, the Golden Boot, and the Golden Ball. She also received the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Joe Biden. As a top soccer player, she has made deals with Nike, Samsung, BodyArmor, Victoria's Secret, and more. When Rapinoe shoots, she scores.
20. Alex Morgan: $5.7 Million
Next up on the list is Rapinoe's teammate and co-captain, Alex Morgan. The California native is among the best strikers to play the sport, scoring over 120 goals for the United States national team. She has been named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People twice and honored with the title US Soccer Female Athlete of the Year.
She has endorsements from major companies, like McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Nike, Chobani, and many more, which help make up her estimated $5.7 million earnings. Morgan even starred as a fictionalized version of herself in the direct-to-video movie Alex & Me. The striker really knows how to kick it!
19. In Gee Chun: $5.7 Million
In Gee Chun is one tee-riffic golfer. The South Korean player was the first player to win majors on three different tours within the same calendar year. She already has an impressive list of title wins, including the 2015 US Women's Open, the 2016 Evian Championship, and the 2022 Women's PGA Championship.
According to Forbes, her earnings are estimated at around $5.7 million with the help of her salary on the field and her sponsorships off the field. Some of her sponsors include powerhouse brands like the Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer, Nike, and the South Korean golf wear brand FairLair.
18. Jin Young Ko: $5.8 Million
Next on the list of the highest-paid female athletes is another South Korean superstar. Jin Young Ko became a professional golfer at 18 in 2013. Over the next four years, she won 10 times on the LPGA of Korea Tour. There doesn't seem to be anything slowing this golfer down.
Her estimated $5.8 million come from her earnings on the field and her sponsorship deals with LG Electronics, Korean Air, Jeju SamDaSoo mineral water, and Rejuran skincare products. Ko has reached the top of the Women's World Golf Rankings many times and made the record for most weeks with 159.
17. Lexi Thompson: $5.9 Million
Lexi Thompson has the drive to succeed on and off the course. The American golfer has been playing at a professional level since she was 12 and was the youngest to ever qualify for the US Women's Open. She represented the United States at the Tokyo Olympics but didn't take home any medals.
With an estimated $5.9 million in earnings, Thompson is at the top of her game. She has deals with Rolex, Volkswagen, Red Bull, and more. Additionally, Thompson pursued another career on top of being a golfer as a skincare entrepreneur. She founded her own brand called Lexi Skin.
16. Paula Badosa: $6.4 Million
The tennis player wanted to be a model growing up. However, life took her on another path or court, one may say. When her family moved from the United States to Spain when she was seven, she started playing tennis. Since then, she has followed in the footsteps of her idols, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova.
The Spaniard has won three WTA Tour singles titles and reached the quarterfinals of the 2021 French Open. She has endorsement deals with Nike and Wilson, which help contribute to her estimated $6.4 million in earnings. Badosa also appears in the Netflix docuseries Break Point. Keep scrolling to see who tops the list!
15. Ons Jabeur: $6.5 Million
It was Ons Jabeur's mother who introduced her to tennis. She started holding a racquet at the age of three, and it has been true love ever since. Jabeur made history as the first Arab woman to contest a major singles final. She was the runner-up at Wimbledon in 2022 and 2023 and the US Open in 2022.
The tennis player is known for utilizing difficult shots, like the slice or the drop shot, in gameplay. Jabeur has several sponsorship deals with Tunisian companies, like the Qatar National Bank Tunisia. All of this contributes to the estimated $6.5 million that she earns. Jabeur is serving up big time.
14. Lydia Ko: $6.9 Million
Lydia Ko has quite a few titles, including one of Time's 100 most influential people, the Young New Zealander of the Year, and one of the youngest ever to win an LPGA Tour event. Since making her debut, she has remained one of the best golfers on the green, so it's no wonder she is reportedly raking in $6.9 million.
The New Zealander is a brand ambassador for Proto-Concept Golf/Golf Partners. Ko, who was born in South Korea but emigrated to New Zealand when she was four, has continued to impress and win on the golf course. Some of her biggest championship titles include winning the 2015 Evian Championship and the 2016 ANA Inspiration.
13. Leylah Fernandez: $7 Million
Leylah Fernandez was first introduced to the world tennis stage in 2019 when she won her first professional singles tennis title at the Gatineau Challenger. Since then, she has appeared at the Australian Open, the French Open, the Indian Wells Open, and more.
It's her work off the court with brands that have helped her earn her spot as #13 among the highest-paid female athletes. Fernandez is sponsored by brands like Lululemon, Babolat, Birchbox, Morgan Stanley, and EasyPost. All together, her estimated earnings come in at $7 million. Aces!
12. PV Sindhu: $7.1 Million
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu is one of the premier athletes in her home country, India. She is one of the best badminton players in the entire world and has won silver and gold at two separate Olympic Games. She has received special sports and civilian honors from India.
Sindhu has multiple endorsement deals with brands like Bridgestone Tyres, Gatorade, Nokia, and Panasonic. She has won five medals at the Badminton World Federation World Championships. With all of these accolades, it makes complete sense why her earnings are estimated to be at $7.1 million.
11. Candace Parker: $7.2 Million
Nicknamed Ace, Candace Parker is one of the best basketball players in the WNBA. With that honor, she is also one of the highest-paid female athletes, with a reported $7.2 million coming in. Parker has signed long-term deals with Adidas and Gatorade.
The basketballer won two WNBA championships and was named WNBA MVP in 2008 and 2013. She was also the first woman to dunk in an NCAA tournament game. In addition to everything she does on the court off the court, she also works as an analyst and commentator for Turner Sports.
10. Minjee Lee: $7.3 Million
Breaking into the top ten is Australian professional golfer Minjee Lee. When she was only 9, Lee became the youngest winner of the WA Amateur Open. She has continued to dominate the golf course ever since, especially with the estimated $7.3 million she's earning.
Lee went professional in 2014 and won her first major championship in 2021. The second one came along at the US Women's Open in 2022. Along with her prize money, her sponsors, like Aon, Hana Bank, and WAAC, are all contributing to her paycheck. Lee is right on par!
9. Jessica Pegula: $7.6 Million
Serving up next is American tennis player Jessica Pegula. She has won two singles titles and seven doubles titles on the WTA Tour and has been a Grand Slam quarterfinalist six times. She partnered up with Coco Gauff and reached the final of the 2022 French Open, but they lost to Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic.
Pegula's estimated $7.6 million earnings come from her deals with Adidas, Yonex, and Ready Nutrition, prize money, and her skincare line, Ready 24. She knows a few things about business, too. Her parents, Terry and Kim Pegula, are the billionaire owners of the Buffalo Bills football team.
8. Simone Biles: $10 Million
Breaking through $10 million in earnings is American gymnast Simone Biles. She has seven Olympic medals, 25 World Championship medals, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Joe Biden. Biles is considered to be the greatest gymnast of all time.
Over the years, the gymnast has been sponsored by Nike, Core Power, Procter & Gamble, United Airlines, and Athleta. She has starred in Super Bowl commercials, and her wedding to football player Jonathan Owens was featured in Vogue. No matter what she does, Simone Biles always sticks the landing.
7. Coco Gauff: $11.1 Million
Coco Gauff stepped onto the scene in a big way when she defeated seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams in the opening round of the 2019 Wimbledon tournament. Since then, Gauff has made it clear that she's here to stay on the court. She reached the final round at the 2022 French Open in singles.
She has signed sponsorship deals with New Balance and the food company Barilla helping her to reach the estimated $11.1 million salary, according to Forbes. Although Gauff hasn't earned a Grand Slam title yet, it is only a matter of time before she adds that to her resume.
6. Venus Williams: $12.1 Million
Venus Williams is a former world Number 1, seven Grand Slam singles winner, and is considered one of the greatest tennis players ever. Although she no longer holds her Number 1 ranking, Williams continues to gain star power, especially with the reported $12.1 million she earns.
Williams helped fight for equal prize money between male and female tennis players, and in 2007 when she won Wimbledon, she was awarded the same amount as her male counterpart Roger Federer. The tennis star has an apparel line, EleVen, and has partnered with Kraft, Electronic Arts, Tide, Ralph Lauren, and Wilson.
5. Iga Świątek: $14.9 Million
The Polish tennis player has swung onto the scene in a major way. Iga Świątek has won four single championships - the French Open in 2020, 2022, and 2023 and the US Open in 2022. She is currently ranked Number 1 in singles by the Women's Tennis Association.
Known for her all-court playing style, Świątek is a force to be reckoned with on and off the court. Her major endorsement brand deals include partnerships with On, Red Bull, Lexus, Rolex, and Poland's biggest insurance company, PZU. According to Forbes, everything added up earns Świątek her estimated $14.9 million.
4. Emma Raducanu: $18.7 Million
British tennis player Emma Raducanu is here to win, and she's here to stay. At only 18, she had an impressive and magical run to win the 2021 US Open. She won the title without dropping a set, an astonishing achievement in its own right. With her win came a whole lot of business deals, too.
Raducanu has sponsorship deals with British Airways, Tiffany, Porsche, Evian, HSBC, and Nike. Although continuing injury issues have kept the Brit from playing at her full potential, she is still lobbing in a high salary with an estimated $18.7 million.
3. Eileen Gu: $20.1 Million
Up next for the highest-paid female athlete is freestyle skier Eileen Gu. The skier competed for China during the 2022 Winter Olympics held in Beijing. It was her Olympic debut, and she took home two gold medals and one silver medal. Gu's endeavors off the slope are just as profitable.
She is sponsored by Red Bull, Louis Vuitton, Therabody, and several Chinese companies. Additionally, she is a student at Stanford University and a model represented by IMG Models. With an estimated $20.1 million earned by Gu, there is still so much to expect from the snowbird.
2. Serena Williams: $41.3 Million
One of the greatest of all time is tennis superstar Serena Williams. Sister to Venus and a champion in her own right, Williams has proven time and time again how effective of a tennis player she is. She has won 23 Grand Slam women's singles titles and is the only player to achieve a career Golden Slam in singles and doubles.
Over the years, some of her many sponsorship deals have been with brands like Subway, Pepsi, Gatorade, Gucci, Nike, Puma, and AT&T. Additionally, Williams is a minority owner of the Miami Dolphins, founded a VC firm and has appeared as herself in various movies. No wonder why she's raking in an estimated $41.3 million.
1. Naomi Osaka: $51.1 Million
The highest-paid female athlete, according to Forbes, is none other than tennis legend Naomi Osaka. With an estimated $51.1 million, she joins an exclusive club of athletes making more money off the field than on it, per Forbes. Osaka is a four-time Grand Slam singles champion and has clinched seven titles on the WTA Tour.
Osaka has been endorsed by Mastercard, PlayStation, Levi's, and Airbnb, just to name a few. She also started her own sports management agency and a production company. Not to mention, the Japanese player invested in a pickleball team and cofounded a skincare line. Whatever Osaka does, it is bound to be a smashing success.