Highest-earning female tennis players of all time | Jackson Progress-Argus Photo Slideshows


In 1968, professional tennis entered the Open era. With the introduction of the four Grand Slam tournaments – US Open, Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon – the division between pros and amateurs has finally come to an end. But there was always the question of male players versus female players.

In 1973, Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in “The battle of the sexes”, making her the first athletic woman to earn $100,000 in a single year. But her plea for gender equality came three years before when she won the Italian Open and won just $600 compared to male winner Ilie Năstase taking home $3,500. The gap caused his famous quote“Everyone thinks women should be thrilled when we get crumbs, and I want women to have the cake, the icing, and the icing on the cake, too.”

King continued to advocate for women’s rights throughout her career and founded the Women’s Tennis Association in 1973. Through her actions, tennis slowly narrowed the gender gap and now male and female players win the same amount of prize money in each of the four majors; however, a study published in 2021 by a UK price comparison Money.co.uk found that female gamers still earn about 34% less than males.

Stacker ranked the 25 highest-earning female tennis players of all time, using data compiled by the WTA Tour. Total earnings are current as of August 1, 2022.

Interestingly, the United States leads with five players in total, while no other country has more than two. Among them is Serena Williams, who alluded to his imminent retirement in August 2022 with plans to “step away” from the game.

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