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By Nick Georgandis

What has been the case for several years was reconfirmed on Tuesday by Forbes Magazine: If you are a female athlete wanting to make some big money - pick up a tennis racket.

The magazine released its annual list of the Top 10 richest female athletes in the world, and tennis players took the top four spots, led by Russia's Maria Sharapova, who earned $29 million between June 2012 and June 2013.

In all, seven of the Top 10 earners were tennis players. Trailing Sharapova at No. 2 is American Serena Williams ($20.5 million), No. 3 Li Na of China ($18.2 million) and No. 4 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus ($15.7 million).

NASCAR racer Danica Patrick is fifth at $15 million followed by South Korean figure skater Kim Yu-na at No. 6 ($14 million).
Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki is seventh at $13.6 million, followed by Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska ($7.4 million) and Serbia's Ana Ivanovic ($7 million). American golfer Paula Creamer rounds out the Top 10 with $5.5 million.

The list brings into sharp contrast just how marketable female tennis players are. Sharapova earned $23 million in endorsements. Wozniacki, now a full 18 months removed from her last stint at No. 1 in the world and still without a Grand Slam title, has made a large chunk of her money through commercial endorsements. This fact is even more true for Ivanovic, who hasn't won a Grand Slam since 2008, but has made plenty of money with modeling spreads and endorsements.

On Forbes' list of the top-100 highest-paid athletes, Sharapova is ranked No. 22, ahead of both Novak Djokovic ($26.9 million) and Rafael Nadal ($26.4 million), but substantially behind Roger Federer, who made $71.5 million in the year reflected.

Federer was the No. 2 overall earner, behind only Tiger Woods, who pulled in $78 million in that span.

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