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Top 10 Highest Paid Female Athletes In The World (2023)

Once again this year, track and field athletes have been left off the list of the highest-paid female athletes in the world. For over two decades, this list has been dominated by tennis stars, primarily including the trio of Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, and Naomi Osaka. However, this year, new names have emerged at the top of the list due to the retirement of Williams and Sharapova, and Osaka’s hiatus from tennis after the birth of her daughter Shai, leading her to pause many of her lucrative endorsement deals. The dominance of professional tennis players remains strong, with nine out of the top 15 highest-paid female athletes in 2023 coming from the sport.

In contrast, track and field stars struggle to even make it into the top 30 to 50 positions. Despite their efforts, they continue to face significant disparities in earnings, as illustrated by the significant difference in prize money between senior world athletics championships and major tennis tournaments like the US Open. While track and field is a popular sport worldwide and athletes in this discipline work tirelessly to reach elite levels, the business side of the sport has been consistently underperforming for decades.

The inability of track and field stars to secure top earnings and endorsement deals has been a source of concern for both athletes and fans, leading to ongoing discussions about how to make the sport more marketable. However, meaningful changes have been slow to materialize. The recent report of Sha’Carri Richardson, the world’s fastest woman, allegedly signing a $20 million endorsement deal with Nike for five years could potentially signal a significant shift in future female endorsements in track and field. If verified, this deal could be a game changer for the sport’s financial landscape.

Top 10 Highest Paid Female Athletes In The World (2023)

As per a report on, 19-year-old tennis sensation Coco Gauff secured the top spot among female athletes in terms of earnings, with an estimated $22.7 million from prize money and endorsements in 2023. Gauff’s earnings received a significant boost after she clinched her first Grand Slam title at the US Open, leading to substantial bonuses from her sponsors, New Balance and Head.

The collective earnings of the top 15 highest-paid female athletes amounted to $174 million, indicating a 19% decrease from the previous year. This decline was largely attributed to the absence of major earners like Serena Williams, who earned $35 million in 2022, and Naomi Osaka, whose earnings plummeted by 72% to $15 million.

The calculated earnings encompass prize money, salaries, and bonuses for active athletes throughout 2023. The estimates for endorsement earnings were gathered through discussions with individuals knowledgeable about marketing agreements and include income from royalties, memorabilia, appearance fees, media, and associated business ventures. It’s noteworthy that these figures are all pre-tax and do not account for any agent fees.

The highest-paid female athletes in 2023 were as follows:

1. Coco Gauff (Tennis) – $22.7 million

2. Iga Swiatek (Tennis) – $21.9 million

3. Eileen Gu (Skiing) – $20 million

4. Emma Raducanu (Tennis) – $16.2 million

5. Naomi Osaka (Tennis) – $15 million

6. Aryna Sabalenka (Tennis) – $12.2 million

7. Elena Rybakina (Tennis) – $9.5 million

8. Jessica Pegula (Tennis) – $9 million

9. Simone Biles (Gymnastics) – $8.5 million

10. Nelly Korda (Golf) – $7.9 million 

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