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The World's Highest Paid Female Athlete Is ...

… Tennis superstar Serena Williams.

No surprises there, many of you may say.

The world’s highest ranked female tennis player is also a different kind of number one - the highest paid female athlete on the planet.

Surpassing fellow tennis player Maria Sharapova, Williams earned a whopping $US28.9 million in 2016, compared to Sharapova’s $US21.9 million.

Sharapova, who held the top spot for 11 years, dropped almost $US8 million in 2015 alone, following the controversial doping scandal.

According to Forbes, Serena has earned a total of $US77.6 million dollars of prize money over the course of her decorated career (and there’s plenty more to come). She has won 36 major titles, which include 21 Grand Slam singles titles – making her one of the greatest female athletes of all time.

Serena Williams's the world's highest paid female athlete

Apart from that, she is marketing gold – right now, she trails only Lebron James in consumer perception of current sports stars. She has worked with a wide range of companies including Nike, Pepsi and Beats Headphones.

Unsurprisingly, tennis players made up eight out of ten top 10 earners on the Forbes list. Tennis is one of the only sports with a narrower wage gap between men and women. Both matches draw similar ratings and both genders receive equal prize money at Grand Slam events.

Additionally, both genders are on a level playing field when it comes to marketability. Williams, with 8.11 million Twitter followers beats both Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer with about 7 million followers each.

You go girl!

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