According to the outlet, Williams, 36, won just $62,000 in prize money in the past year due to her absence from competitions amid her pregnancy and maternity leave. An impressive $18 million in endorsements pushed her over the edge though, landing Williams at the number one for the third year in a row.
Throughout her entire career, Forbes said, Williams has earned $86 million in prize money.
Still, Williams did not even land among the top 100 earners in the overall 2018 highest paid athletes list released earlier this summer. The list was dominated by men and lead by Floyd Mayweather whose salary and winnings totaled $285 million.
The top 10 female earners — mostly tennis players — made $105 million in all, while the top 10 male earners made more than $1 billion in total.
Williams was followed by Caroline Wozniacki on the women’s list, whose total earnings were $13 million. Williams’ sister Venus Williams came in sixth with $10.2 million in earnings.
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It’s been a difficult comeback for the athlete, though, after she suffered from medical complications following Alexis Olympia’s birth. Before the French Open, Williams wrote on Instagram, “For all the moms out there who had a tough recovery from pregnancy — here you go. If I can do it, so can you.”
And in July, she lost the ladies’ single final at Wimbledon to Angelique Kerber.
“It was such an amazing tournament for me. I was really hoping to get this far,” Williams said at the time. “It’s obviously disappointing, but I can’t be disappointed. I have so much to look forward to. I’m literally just getting started.”
She added, “To all the moms out there, I was playing for you today and I tried.”