Known for her outspoken nature, tennis star Serena Williams has again topped Forbes magazine’s list of the highest paid women in sports for the fourth straight year on Tuesday. According to the business publication, the 23 Grand Slam singles champion earned $29.2 million in the 12-month period ending June 1 — with just $4.2 million of that coming from prize money.
June this year, Williams became the first athlete to make it to Forbes’ annual list of the World’s Richest Self-Made Women. She had an estimated $225 million fortune to show, Forbes noted.
— Forbes (@Forbes) August 7, 2019
Williams is an investor, having put money into 34 start-ups over the past five years. With her latest investment entity, Serena Ventures, which was launched last April, she became richest. According to Williams, the firm caters to a social purpose, focusing on funding companies run by women and minorities. So far, 60% investments have gone to companies led by women or people of colour.
Notably, the tennis ace has recently joined Indian actress Priyanka Chopra as an investor for the dating application Bumble. This is not the first time that the tennis superstar has invested in a company. She has shares in around 34 companies through her own platform, Serena Ventures, including Brandless, The Wing, and Billie. In addition, she serves as a board member of Silicon Valley companies Poshmark and SurveyMonkey.
“The prominent tennis player has blown away any number of barriers and stereotypes, proved to be a smart and successful businesswoman who made the vast majority of her fortune via her brain and brand rather than her backhand.”
According to Forbes, “The prominent tennis player has blown away any number of barriers and stereotypes, proved to be a smart and successful businesswoman who made the vast majority of her fortune via her brain and brand rather than her backhand.”
Along with her investments, the 37-year-old American made $29 million from endorsements over the past 12 months, thus having the highest income of her sports career. “I learned you can’t overspend, but I also learned that I love seed investing,” she said adding, “It’s fun to get in there. I don’t gamble. I don’t jump off buildings,” says Williams. “I’m the most non-taking-a-chance kind of a person, but I felt like seed was where we wanted to be.”
Apart from the investments, Serena Williams has been outspoken about various social issues related motherhood and parenting. Earlier she had boldly accepted that she was suffering from “postpartum emotions” and it was hard to cope with the struggles of balancing family, life and tennis. “I read several articles that said postpartum emotions can last up to three years if not dealt with,” she said, NDTV reported.
The 36-year-old American missed most of the 2017 WTA season due to her pregnancy. The tennis ace has earlier spoken about the complications she suffered after giving birth to her daughter. During her pregnancy, she was ranked No 1 in the world and won the Australian Open in her first trimester.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Naomi Osaka, who went on to win the Australian Open in January, became just the fourth woman to earn more than $20 million in a year — after Williams and tennis stars Maria Sharapova and Li Na. Forbes records Osaka’s earnings at $24.3 million, putting her second on a list dominated by tennis players. Former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber was third on the list with earnings of $11.8 million followed by this year’s Wimbledon champion Simona Halep.
Feature Image Credit: Vibe