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Sharapova is top female athlete earner for 11th straight year
[NORTH CAROLINA] Tennis star Maria Sharapova again tops the list of highest earning female athletes over the past year, according to Forbes.
For the 11th consecutive year, the Russian heads a list dominated by tennis players, who occupy seven of the top 10 spots.
The 28-year-old Sharapova, who won the French Open last year, collected US$6.7 million in prize money, but her total estimated earnings were US$29.7 million, according to Forbes.
The Forbes list also includes earnings from appearances, licensing and endorsements, personal business interests and, in some cases, salary.
World No 1 tennis player Serena Williams is second at US$24.6 million, while motor racing driver Danica Patrick is the top non-tennis player, in fourth place with US$13.9 million.
The only other non-tennis players in the top 10 are number eight Ronda Rousey (mixed martial arts) and number nine Stacy Lewis (golf).
Tennis is one of the few big-money sports where the earnings of women are somewhat comparable to men, though Sharapova's income nonetheless was significantly less than the US$67 million earned by Roger Federer, the top tennis player on the latest Forbes men's list.
Boxers Floyd Mayweather (US$300 million) and Manny Pacquiao (US$160 million) head the latest men's list, followed by Portugal and Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo (US$79.6 million).
The female earnings were calculated from June 1 of last year until the same date in 2015.