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Badminton Player PV Sindhu Among Top 10 Highest-Paid Female Athletes on Forbes’ List

Badminton player PV Sindhu

Indian badminton player PV Sindhu has been ranked the seventh highest-earning woman sportsperson in the world by Forbes. The Olympic silver medalist, with annual earnings of $8.5 million (Rs 59.58 crore) during 2017-18, is the only Indian on the list of “Highest-Paid Female Athletes 2018.” 

The Indian shuttler and American racer Danica Patrick are the only non-tennis players to figure among the Top 10 players on the list. American tennis player Serena Williams takes the first spot, with earnings worth $18.1 million, despite a 14-month maternity break from the game. Williams endorses Nike, Intel, Audemars Piguet, JPMorgan Chase, Lincoln, Gatorade and Beats, besides owning the fashion label named Serena.  

Tennis players Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and Sloane Stephens of the United States took the second and third places, with total earnings of $13 million and $11.2 million, respectively. 

The Hyderabad-based Indian player earned around 90 percent of her earnings off the court. She made $0.5 million from her prize money while $8 million came from endorsement of popular brands. Sindhu, 23, is also the brand ambassador for the Central Reserve Police Force in the country. 

“The Indian badminton player burst on the scene with a silver medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics. She was the first Indian female athlete to win a silver,” the publication said about Sindhu. “The 23-year-old has a robust sponsor roster with Bridgestone, Gatorade, Nokia, Panasonic, Reckitt Benckiser and a half-dozen other brands.” 

After winning the silver at the Rio Olympics in 2016, Sindhu received cash awards worth over Rs 13 crore ($18.5 million) by different state governments and government institutions. She was also awarded with land by the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments, and received a BMW car from the Hyderabad Badminton Association as a gift, which was presented to her by cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.  

Sindhu is followed on the list by tennis star Simona Halep, who is the current  World No. 1 on the WTA circuit. Halep earned $7.7 million between June 2017 and June 2018. 

Indian cricket player Virat Kohli was the only Indian athlete to be placed in the Forbes’ list of the world’s 100 highest earning sportspersons in June this year. He was ranked 83rd with his $24 million earning, sourced from salary, winnings and endorsements.