Serena Williams
Serena Williams earned just $62,000 in terms of prize money between June 2017-June 2018. In this picture, U.S. player Williams holds the runner's up trophy after losing to Germany's Angelique Kerber in their women's singles final match on the twelfth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, July 14, 2018. OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

Forbes released their highest paid female athletes list Tuesday and it became clear tennis was among the only sports where the women get paid on terms with their male counterparts — at least in the Grand Slam tournaments.

Serena Williams topped the list for the third straight year despite not playing for over 12 months since announcing her pregnancy early in the 2017 season. And there are eight tennis players in the top 10, according to Forbes.

The highest prize money in tennis for women is at the US Open, where the singles champ gets $3.8 million. The tournament at Flushing Meadows was the first to introduce equal prize money for men and women in 1973 after which all the Grand Slams — Wimbledon, the French Open and the Australian — followed suit.

Williams, who is looking to equal Margaret Court’s 24 singles Grand Slam titles, topped the 2018 highest paid female athletes list despite earning only $62,000 though prize money since June last year until this June. Such is her marketing value that she brought in $18 million through her endorsements with brands such as Nike, Intel, JP Morgan Chase, Audemars Piguet, Gatorade and Beats among others.

The Marketing Arm tracks the marketability of more than 4,500 celebrities and the report claimed Williams ranks among the 1 percent of all celebrities owing to her high scores in terms of awareness, trust and aspiration.

“She has a lethal combination as the best to play the sport and the story she has with Venus, breaking through as African-American tennis players,” said Matt Fleming, who runs the Marketing Arm’s practice of securing celebrities on behalf of brands, as quoted on Forbes. “Now, as a mother, it adds another layer of attractiveness from a marketers' standpoint.”

The top six on the list are tennis players with Caroline Wozniacki leading the charge behind Williams in second place. The Danish star is currently ranked number two in the world and her earnings came almost equally from prize money over the period and endorsement deals with Adidas, Rolex and Babolat among others.

The Dane is followed by American youngster Sloane Stephens, Spanish French Open winner Garbine Muguruza and Maria Sharapova, who was the top earning female athlete for 11 straight years before following down the list in the last three years, rounding out the top 5.

The Russian like Williams brought in most of her earnings through endorsements having earned just $1 million of her $10.5 million earnings on the court. She also spend a considerable amount of time away from the game after she was suspended for taking a banned substance.

Venus Williams comes in at number six with earnings of $10.2 million and Indian badminton player P.V. Sindhu broke the deadlock of tennis players at number seven on the list with earnings of $8.5 million. The Indian shuttler also made most her winnings through endorsements with just $500,000 coming as prize money for her successes on court.

WTA women’s singles number one Simona Halep comes in at number eight with earnings of $7.7 million after reaching the final of the Australian Open in January and then winning her first major at the French Open. Her main sponsor is said to be Nike among others.

The most successful female racing driver Danica Partick comes in at number nine. The American’s earnings also includes six months from her final season in NASCAR, as she retired from racing after the Indy500 race in May this year. Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber rounds out the top 10 with earnings of $7 million, but the German could have been higher as her Wimbledon purse of $3.3 million was not included as the deadline had passed.

The 10 highest-paid female athletes in the world banked $105 million from prize money, appearances and endorsements in the 12 months ending June 1, 2018. The tally was down 4 percent from last year and 28 percent from five years ago.