Serena Williams passes suspended Maria Sharapova as top woman earner in sport

Russia's Maria Sharapova (left) and Serena Williams of the US.
Russia's Maria Sharapova (left) and Serena Williams of the US. PHOTOS: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Serena Williams may have been second best at the French Open on Saturday but the American has moved ahead of fellow tennis player Maria Sharapova to top the women's earnings list in sport, according to Forbes Magazine.

Williams ended the Russian's 11-year reign as the world No. 1 women's money earner in sports by hauling in US$28.9 million in combined prize money and off-field earnings over the past 12 months, the magazine said on Monday.

Sharapova, who lost some sponsorship money after announcing she had tested positive for the recently banned substance meldonium at the Australian Open in January and is provisionally suspended, holds second spot at US$21.9 million.

American mixed martial arts talent Ronda Rousey shot up to third on the list at US$14 million from eighth place and US$6.5 million, just ahead of compatriot and Nascar driver Danica Patrick, who earned US$13.9 million, according to www.forbes.com.

The rest of the women's top 10 were also tennis players.

Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska ranked fifth at US$10.2 million followed by Dane Caroline Wozniacki (US$8 million), Spain's newly-crowned French Open champion Garbine Muguruza (US$7.6 million), Serb Ana Ivanovic (US$7.4 million), Victoria Azarenka of Belarus (US$6.6 million) and Canada's Eugenie Bouchard ($6.2 million).