PV Sindhu who shot to fame with her performance at the Rio Games in Brazil in 2016 has been listed by Forbes as one of the top 10 highest-paid female athletes. Sindhu, with total earnings of $8.5 million is ranked 7th and is the only Indian athlete on the list. According to Forbes, Sindhu earned $500,000 as prize money and the rest $8 million through endorsements.
The 23-year old badminton player endorses a range of brands, including Nokia, Panasonic, Gatorade, Bridgestone and Reckitt Benckiser. Sindhu, along with retired race car driver Danica Patrick are the only non-tennis players on the list.
Topping the list with total earnings of $18.1 million is Serena Williams. While Williams went on a 14-month hiatus after announcing that she was expecting, she still remained the highest-paid female athlete. Forbes says that her earnings of $18.1 million remain the best for the third year straight. Her endorsement portfolio including Nike, Intel, Audemars Piguet, JPMorgan Chase, Lincoln, Gatorade and Beats is also unmatched among women in sports. She made twice as much off the court when it came to other female athletes.
With total earnings of $13 million, Caroline Wozniacki bagged the second spot. On the third spot is Sloane Stephens with $11.2 million, followed by Garbine Muguruza with $11 million, Maria Sharapova with $10.5 million, Venus Williams with $10.2 million, PV Sindhu, Simona Halep with $7.7 million, Danica Patrick with $7.5 million and Angelique Kerber with $7 million.
As mentioned in Forbes, that 10 highest-paid female athletes made $105 million from prize money, appearances, royalties and endorsements in a year ending June 1. The amount is, however, down by 4% from last year and by 28% from five years ago. The magazine says that retirements of popular endorsement stars like Danica Patrick, Li Na and Ana Ivanovic could be one of the reasons for the dip.
In June, Forbes issued a ranking of the world's 100 highest-paid athletes did not feature any woman. Williams who was the only woman to feature on the list the previous year dropped out due to her hiatus.
(Edited by Anwesha Madhukalya)