To the surprise of no one who follows women's sports, or sports in general, closely, tennis leads the way in pay both on and off the court or field of play for its professionals. The sport seized the top three spots among individual athletes' monetary hauls in the past year, according to Forbes' own Kurt Badenhausen.
What's more, Maria Sharapova has turned it up to 11. Years, that is. As in years at the top of said list, about $5 million ahead of her nearest opponent, Serena Williams, who (suffice it to say) has Sharapova's number within the lines of tennis courts the world over. Sharapova earned $29.7 million in prize money and endorsements between June 2014 and June 2015.
Sharapova hasn't defeated Williams in a tennis match since 2004. Funnily enough, her Wimbledon championship and season-ending championship run that year—each of which came at the expense of Serena—propelled her into the upper echelon of female-athlete millionaires. She hasn't looked back.