10 Most Earning Female Athletes in 2008

1. Maria Sharapova

Tennis-$26 million
There's nothing like the combination of talent and good looks to woo corporations looking to spend endorsement dollars. Sharapova's Australian Open title this year was her third Grand Slam win, along with 16 other singles titles. She's recently added Sony to an endorsement portfolio that includes Pepsi, Colgate-Palmolive, Nike and Motorola.

2. Serena Williams

Tennis-$14 million
The younger of the storied Williams sisters, Serena has bounced back with a vengeance with three tournament wins this year, matching her combined total from 2005 to 2007. Her endorsement stable includes Hewlett-Packard, Nike and Kraft.

3. Venus Williams

Tennis-$13 million
Big sister Venus defeated Serena at this year's Wimbledon final, showing she's got plenty left in the tank. She's parlayed success on the court into her own fashion line, EleVen, a collection of casual and performance footwear and apparel

4. Justine Henin

Tennis-$12.5 million
After ringing up $5 million in prize money during a white-hot 2007, Henin walked away from the sport this past spring, just before her 26th birthday.

5. Michelle Wie

Golf-$12 million
A limited schedule this year (injuries, college enrollment) didn't hurt Wie's endorsement career. But if the teen sensation wants to extend her deals with Nike and Sony, she'll need to spend more time on the course in 2009.

6. Annika Sorenstam

Golf-$11 million
The Swede has racked up more career prize money than any female golfer in history--some $22 million. The eight-time player of the year has 72 LPGA tournament wins to her credit, including 10 majors. Sorenstam has announced she'll retire from the tour after the ADT Championship in November, just after she turns 38.

7. Lorena Ochoa

Golf-$10 million
Six tournament wins so far this year have netted Ochoa $1.8 million in prize money to go along with major endorsement deals with Audi and Lacoste.

8. Danica Patrick

Auto Racing-$7 million
Patrick's Indy series win in April should set her up for more riches to come, provided she avoids becoming a one-hit wonder.

9. Ana Ivanovic

Tennis-$6.5 million
The 20-year-old Serb has shot up to No. 1 in the world after winning the 2008 French Open. She counts Adidas, Yonex (rackets) and Juice Plus among her major endorsements.

10. Paula Creamer

Golf-$6 million
Cramer's victory in the 2005 Sybase Classic made her, at 18, the youngest LPGA event winner in 53 years. She's signed on with Adidas, NEC and Taylor Made.

Share it: