With a host of titles under her belt, it would come as no surprise to hear Serena Williams touted as one of the best tennis players in the world. But recently, the tennis superstar achieved a different level of success.
According to Glamour, Williams was named the highest-paid female athlete by Forbes — a feat that has happened for the first time in her career, allowing her to surpass 11-year titleholder Maria Sharapova. While Glamour reports that Williams has defeated Sharapova in every match they since 2005, Sharapova has persisted in out-earning her over the years mostly because of sponsorship deals. But Williams finally won this match as well, earning $28.9 million in 2015 while Sharapova earned $21.9 million that same year, says Glamour.
Among her illustrious career, Williams has not only managed to secure 21 Grand Slam titles, Glamour says she has also “earned more than $77 million in prize money, launched her own fashion line, and opened two schools in Africa and one in Jamaica.”
With all of these accomplishments to her name, Glamour points out that Williams is still drastically underpaid when compared to male athletes. “Despite holding court as one of the world’s greatest athletes for nearly two decades, Williams comes in at number 40 on Forbes list of the world’s highest paid athletes and trails the top-ranked Cristiano Ronaldo by nearly $60 million,” reports Glamour.
Known to speak out on the issue on pay inequality, Williams once fired back this way after fellow tennis player Novak Djokovic said male tennis players should argue for money:
“Novak is entitled to his opinion but if he has a daughter — I think he has a son right now — he should talk to her and tell her how his son deserves more money because he is a boy.”