Who are the highest paid female athletes of 2022?

Forbes released its annual list of the world’s highest-earning athletes.

Naomi Osaka leads the pack of female stars for the third straight year, with Serena Williams once again a close second.

However, there is a group of rising stars who are closing the gap with these tennis icons and savvy businesswomen.

Let’s see who made the list of the highest paid female athletes of 2022.

Naomi Osaka

$51.1m (£42.3m)

Osaka may have had a tough time on the pitch, but its portfolio continues to be among the best in the world.

The 25-year-old is one of six athletes on the 2022 Forbes Global Athletes List to earn more than $50 million off the court. She is ranked 19th highest paid athlete this year.

Osaka is a brand ambassador for Japanese automaker Nissan, and she’s also endorsed by PlayStation, Levi’s, and Airbnb.

Earlier this year, she collaborated with video game sensation Fortnite to create her own playable character. She also invested in a Miami pickleball team alongside Nick Kyrgios.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 30: Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts in the second set against Danielle Collins of the United States in their women’s singles first round match on day two of the 2022 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 30, 2022 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Serena Williams

$41.3m (£34.2m)

Although the iconic Williams is “stepping away” from tennis after this year’s US Open, she remains one of the highest-earning female athletes in the world.

Her venture capital firm has investments in over 70 start-ups and she recently co-founded a new brand of topical pain relief products.

Williams also made an appearance in the new Netflix release Glass onion: a mystery at loggerheads.

Tennis star Serena Williams
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 19: Founder and Managing Partner of Serena Ventures Serena Williams speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt 2022 on October 19, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

Eileen Gu

$20.1m (£16.6m)

The gap between the two highest-earning female athletes and the rest is still quite wide, but it’s starting to close as more and more women wow the world.

Freestyle skier Eileen Gu rose to prominence at the Beijing Olympics in February after winning two gold medals and a silver.

At only 19 years old, she already has an impressive portfolio of activities. Gu is sponsored by Red Bull and Louis Vuitton, and models for the IMG agency.

ZHANGJIAKOU, CHINA – FEBRUARY 18: Ailing Eileen Gu of Team China reacts after winning the gold medal in the Women’s Freestyle Freeski Halfpipe Final on Day 14 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Genting Snow Park on February 18, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Emma Raducanu

$18.7m (£15.4m)

Ever since she won the US Open in 2021, brands have been racing to work with Emma Raducanu.

The 20-year-old may not have had her most successful year on the tennis court in 2022, but her business ventures have continued to grow.

Raducanu has signed endorsement deals with companies such as Dior, Porsche, Evian and British Airways. Her branded social media posts also show the highest average engagement of any female tennis player, according to Sponsor United.

Emma Raducanu celebrates a point
PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 23: Emma Raducanu of Great Britain celebrates against Linda Noskova of Czech Republic during the women’s singles first round match on day 2 of the 2022 French Open at Roland Garros on May 23, 2022 in Paris, France . (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Iga Świątek

$14.9m (£12.3m)

The unstoppable Świątek may be fifth overall on this list, but she’s earned the most on the pitch of all the rest.

Thanks to her incredible run in 2022, the world number one has pocketed $9.9m (£8.1m) from tennis tournaments, including her triumph at the French Open and US Open .

Świątek also recently signed with IMG and is endorsed by Red Bull and Lexus. Its main partner is PZU, the largest insurance company in Poland.

Iga Świątek celebrates at the US Open
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 07: Iga Swiatek of Poland celebrates after defeating Jessica Pegula of the United States in their women’s singles quarterfinal match on day ten of the 2022 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 07, 2022 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Venus Williams

$12.1m (£10m)

Williams has only played four tournaments in 2022 and lost all of them, but she received a wildcard to play at the 2023 Australian Open.

Like her sister Serena, Venus has her own business ventures, including her lifestyle brand EleVen.

Forbes also reported that the 42-year-old has made more than 40 speaking appearances this year, each worth more than six figures.

Venus Williams in action at the US Open
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 26: Venus Williams of the United States looks on during her women’s singles first round match against Shuai Zhang of China on day one of the 2019 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 26, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for the USTA)

Coco Gauff

$11.1m (£9.1m)

Similar to Świątek, Coco Gauff has earned a good chunk of her money this year thanks to her achievements on the pitch.

She is tipped to win her first Grand Slam title shortly after reaching the French Open final in singles and doubles.

Off the pitch, she is sponsored by New Balance and recently signed an extension with them which would have earned her a significant pay rise. She also has a multi-year sponsorship deal with Italian food company Barilla.

Coco Gauff speaks at a press conference during the WTA Finals
FORT WORTH, TEXAS – OCTOBER 29: Coco Gauff of the United States answers questions from the media during a press conference ahead of the 2022 WTA Finals, part of the Hologic WTA Tour, at Dickies Arena on October 29, 2022 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Simone Biles

$10m (£8.2m)

Despite her historic success on the Olympic stage, Simone Biles doesn’t have to worry about the offseason.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist is one of the most marketable female athletes in the world. She has starred in commercials for Subway and Powerade and featured in a Super Bowl ad for software company BMC.

Biles has a sponsorship deal with clothing brand Athleta, with whom she launched a line of activewear.

Simone Biles at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships
STUTTGART, GERMANY – OCTOBER 13: Simone Biles of the United States poses with her medal after the Apparatus Final on Day 10 of the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at Hanns Martin Schleyer Hall on October 13, 2019 in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Jessica Pegula

$7.6m (£6.2m)

Jessica Pegula may be the daughter of billionaire parents Terry and Kim Pegula, owners of the Buffalo Bills, but she’s forging her own path in tennis and beyond.

The 28-year-old ends the year as the highest-ranked American player after reaching an all-time high of third in the world.

Pegula has endorsement deals with Adidas and Ready Nutrition and will likely add to that portfolio after recently signing with talent agency GSE Worldwide.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 05: Jessica Pegula of the United States celebrates after defeating Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in their women’s singles fourth round match on day eight of the 2022 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 05, 2022 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Minjee Lee

$7.3m (£6m)

Minjee Lee and Świątek are the only two top ten athletes to earn more directly from their sport than outside of it.

The Australian golfer has finished in the top 10 on the official LPGA Tour money list for the past five years.

She finished second this year after pocketing $3.8m (£3.1m) plus a $1m (£823,000) bonus. The US Open champion is also sponsored by British financial services company Aon and South Korean bank Hana Bank.

DOTHAN, AL – DECEMBER 11: Min Lee of Chinese Taipei tees off during the final round of the 2022 LPGA Series Q – Dothan at Highland Oaks Golf Course on December 11, 2022 in Dothan, Alabama. (Photo by Hannah Ruhoff/Getty Images)

Who else is on the list?

These are the ten highest paid athletes of 2022, but there are plenty more to recognize on the Forbes list.

WNBA star Candace Parker is 11th with earnings of $7.2m (£5.9m), while tennis world number two Ons Jabeur has earned $5m (4, £1m) of her $6.5m (£5.3m) total from competitions, placing her 15th.

American football stars Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe are tied with golfer In Gee Chun for 19th, all taking home $5.7m (£4.7m) this year.

US star Megan Rapinoe at Wembley
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 07: Megan Rapinoe of USA looks on during the Women’s International Friendly match between England and USA at Wembley Stadium on October 07, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

While Morgan and Rapinoe are the highest earning female footballers in the world, they are still a far cry from Cristiano Ronaldo (£95million) and the highest paid athlete in the world Lionel Messi (£107m).

Spanish tennis star Garbiñe Muguruza, who completes the list at 24th, has endorsement deals with Jaguar, Nivea and Rolex and earned $5.2m (£4.3m) in 2022.

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Quiz: Have these tennis stars won more than 10 Grand Slam titles in their career?

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