Women's Sports: Serena Williams crowned the world’s richest sportswoman

2019 US Open - Day 13

This month, insurance firm Protectivity analysed the annual salaries of the richest sportswomen in the world and calculated precisely how long it would take them to make your yearly earnings.

One of the most famous sportswomen of the 21st century, Serena Williams, topped the leaderboard as the wealthiest female sports player with a substantial annual salary of £23.7 million. 

The American professional tennis player - and former world number one - has won an impressive 792 matches since beginning her professional career in 1995, and is continuing to win titles over 20 years later.

With some of the most successful female sports players being paid nearly £65,000 each day, how many days - if not hours, minutes or seconds - would it take for them to match your annual salary?

Professional male sports players are known for the immensely high salaries they receive each year, with football, Formula 1 racing and boxing being just a few of the most highly compensated sports to play. But how much are the most successful female sports players earning each year, what are the best-paying sports, and how long would it take them to earn your annual salary?

Serena Williams' daily income sits at approximately £64,952, which equates, to £2,706 each hour and £45 per minute. Williams earns over £3 million more each year compared to any other successful sportswomen, with Naomi Osaka being the second most successful woman with a yearly salary of approximately £19 million. Serena's sister, Venus Williams, ranks 10th in the world's richest sportswomen with an annual earning of 4.7 million, which is over five times less than her younger sister.  


With the average U.K. salary sitting at £29,009, it would take Serena Williams just 10 hours, 44 minutes and 24 seconds to earn this figure, and for the majority of the richest women in sport, a maximum of two days.

The top 10 richest female sports players are all tennis professionals, highlighting the sport as the best paid for female sports players. Tennis is immensely popular across the globe, with over 2 million people in the U.K. playing it regularly, and in the U.S. alone, a staggering 17.9 million participating in the sport - nearly a third of the U.K.'s entire population. Tennis is also immensely popular to watch, with 2019's Wimbledon men's singles final seeing 9.6 million people tune in to watch the match.

"It's great to see the success of women in sport and shine a light on their achievements, particularly in an industry where male professionals are known for earning significantly higher salaries. The popularity of tennis matches shows in the top 15 richest women in sport list, with both male and female matches being immensely popular with audiences, and thousands of people each summer tuning in to watch Wimbledon. 

"Over the next few years, it would be fantastic to see women in other sports rise into the top 15 list of richest women and break the top ten list of tennis players," said Sean Walsh, Protectivity Insurance Marketing Manager.

Female professionals in football, badminton and golf all feature in the top 15 richest women in sport, with all of them earning above £4 million each year, however, tennis is by far the dominating sport.

Despite the enormous salaries earned by the likes of Serena Williams, women still have a way to go to match the world's male-dominated highest-paid athletes, with athletes such as Lionel Messi earning over £100 million each year. In tennis, the highest-paid player of all time is Novak Djokovic with total earnings of over $131 million, surpassing Serena Williams' career winnings, currently sitting at $88.6 million.

To see what the richest women in sport earn and how your salary compares, you can view the piece here.

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