New York: Maria Sharapova may not have won a grand slam title since 2008, but the Russian tennis player remains unchallenged as the world`s highest paid woman in professional sports.
For the seventh straight year, Sharapova topped the annual list provided by Forbes magazine, despite failing to add to her three grand slam titles, although she did make the Wimbledon final in July.
Sharapova`s earnings, mostly off-court endorsements, were estimated at USD25 million (15.36 million pounds), twice as much as her nearest rival, Denmark`s Caroline Wozniacki, the current women`s world number one.
American racing driver Danica Patrick was third with USD12 million followed by tennis players Venus Williams, Belgium`s Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams.
Seven of the top nine female earners were tennis players, including China`s Li Na, who made USD8 million last year but was expected to soar up the rankings and challenge Sharapova for the top spot after her breakthrough win at the French Open.
Top 10 women earners
1. Maria Sharapova USD25 million (Russia, tennis)
2. Caroline Wozniacki USD12.5 million (Denmark, tennis
3. Danica Patrick USD12 million (US, motor racing)
4. Venus Williams USD11.5 million (US, tennis)
5. Kim Clijsters USD11 million (Belgium, tennis)
6. Serena Williams USD10.5 million (U.S., tennis)
7. Kim Yuna USD10 million (figure skating, South Korea)
8. Li Na USD8 million (China, tennis)
9. Ana Ivanovic USD6 million (Serbia, tennis)
10. Paula Creamer USD5.5 million (US, golf)