grand slam titles when she competes at the US Open in NY starting next week, earned twice as much off the court as any other female athlete.

In June, the Forbes rankings of the world's top 100 highest earning athletes did not feature a woman after Williams dropped out of the chart. A victory, which would be her record-setting 24th major championship, would net her $3.8 million - the biggest prize tennis history.

Even though she spent most of year adjusting to motherhood, Serena Williams is - according to Forbes - once again far and away the highest paid female athlete on Earth for the third straight year.


Williams, who returned to competition in March after giving birth last September, earned Dollars 62,000 in winnings over the past year but received USD 18.1 million from an endorsement portfolio unmatched among women in sports, Forbes said. Sindhu, along with retired race auto driver Danica Patrick are the only non-tennis players on the list.

Top seed Halep faces Estonia's Kaia Kanepi while Danish world number two Caroline Wozniacki meets former U.S. Open victor Samantha Stosur of Australia in the first round, with another champion, Russia's 2004 victor Svetlana Kuznetsova, drawn against 16th-seeded Venus in her opener.

She is followed by three other tennis professionals in the top five; Sloane Stephens $11.2m (R161m), Garbiñe Muguruza $11m (R158m) and Maria Sharapova $10.5m (R151m). Williams missed last year's tournament because of pregnancy.


Serena has been seeded 17th at this year's US Open one place below her sister Venus, organisers said on Tuesday.

Serena and Venus Williams could be headed toward their earliest Grand Slam meeting in 20 years, facing a potential third-round matchup at the U.S. Open.

In the men's field, No. 1-ranked and defending champion Rafael Nadal opens against David Ferrer in an all-Spanish rematch of their 2013 French Open final. Simona Halep will be the top women's seed.


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