Hyderabad: It was no surprise when tennis’ 23-time grand slam singles champion Serena Williams made Forbes’ Highest-Paid Female Athletes 2019 list as highest-paid female athlete for fourth year in a row.
India’s 24-year-old PV Sindhu, also made the list released by Forbes on Tuesday with her on-court winnings totaled USD $500,000, but she also brought in total endorsements of extra USD $5 million.
The World No. 5 women’s singles player who have yet to win a title in 2019, reached her first final of the 2019 season at Indonesia Open but ended in disappointment as she went down 15-21, 16-21 to Japanese World No. 1 Akane Yamaguchi in Jakarta on July 21, 2019.
With total earnings of USD $5.5 million dollars, Sindhu was tied for the 13th place in the Highest-Paid Female Athletes 2019 list together with American professional tennis player Madison Keys.
“Sindhu remains India’s most marketable female athlete. The badminton star has endorsements with Bridgestone, JBL, Gatorade, Panasonic and more. She became the first Indian to win the season-ending BWF World Tour finals in 2018,” said Forbes.
Sindhu started playing badminton when at six years old even though her parents were volleyball players at national level. Winning the Rio Olympic women’s singles silver medal was a major turning point in Sindhu’s badminton career as India have only won 28 Olympic medals, with five of those gained by women. No Indian woman has won a gold and Sindhu was the first to clinch a silver.
After her return from Rio, she received cash prizes from several different state governments and a host of companies have been queuing up to sponsor Sindhu. Her sponsorship value has quickly surpassing many Indian cricketers.
As Sindhu still eyeing for her maiden title of 2019, the 2017, 2018 World Championships silver medalist will be competing at the 2019 World Championships in Basel, Switzerland from August 19 to August 25. If she could finally clinch the world title, her brand value and marketability will undoubtedly rise further and she may be able to find herself even higher up the Forbes list next year.