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Sharapova trumps Serena Williams on Forbes rich list

PLAYER POWER: Serena Williams, right, beat Maria Sharapova in the French Open earlier this year (PA)

WORLD NUMBER one Serena Williams brought her rival Maria Sharapova to tears defeating the Russian to claim the French Open earlier this year.

However, the 26-year-old has gained some revenge over the American after ranking as the highest-paid female athlete.

According to Forbes, Maria Sharapova scooped £18.8m in earnings from prize money, endorsements and appearance fees in the 12 months ending in June 2013.

Since the she won Wimbledon in 2004, as a 17-year-old, Sharapova has signed to a variety of endorsement deals with the likes of Nike, Head and Samsung Electronics.

Additionally, the Russian has launched her own sweets business, known as Sugarpova, in 15 countries worldwide.

Comparatively, Williams is the runner up on the list with earnings totalling £13.34m during the same period.

In recent years, the Compton-raised star has cut down on traditional endorsements, opting to take on equity deals with brands HSN, Sleep Sheets and Miami Dolphins.

Despite this, the 31-year-old raked in £7.8m from sponsors Nike, Wilson, Gatorade and OPI, in addition her £5.5m in tournament prize money.

The Forbes list of the world’s top ten wealthiest female sports stars was dominated by tennis players, with seven of spots filled professionals in the sport.

This is partly due the changes in salary packages for tennis players over the last decade which has seen the income difference between men and women close significantly.

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