Tennis: Rich list? What do they know, scoffs Sharapova

MELBOURNE (AFP) - Maria Sharapova on Tuesday scoffed at being rated the world's highest-paid female athlete by Forbes, and sarcastically asked if the magazine had access to her bank account.

The Russian tennis star was listed with annual earnings of US$27.9 million (S$34.2 million) to put her comfortably ahead of China's Li Na on US$18.1 million, her opponent in the Australian Open semi-finals on Thursday.

"Since when do we pay attention to Forbes?" Sharapova replied icily, when asked about the list at a press conference.

"Do you think that they have my pass code to my bank account?" she asked the reporter, who replied he did not know.

"Well, think about it," she fired back.

Her earnings are set for a boost after the release of Sugarpova, her own line of sweets. But she gave short shrift to the idea of using Li to promote it in China.

"I think I can do that," the Russian said.

Sharapova advanced to the semi-finals after beating compatriot Ekaterina Makarova 6-2, 6-2 while Li progressed thanks to her 7-5, 6-3 win over Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska.