The 27-year-old is the only shuttler and Indian in the American business magazine’s list of the top 25 female athletes.
PV Sindhu may be out of action due to an injury, but the spotlight never leaves her. The two-time Olympic medalist made headlines once more, this time for her money, as Forbes ranked Sindhu the world’s 12th highest-paid female athlete in 2022 on Thursday.
The 27-year-old is the only shuttler and Indian in the American business magazine’s list of the top 25 female athletes. She is well ahead of her rivals, including Olympic gold medalist Chen Yufei of China, incumbent world champion Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, and three-time world champion Carolina Marin of Spain, with a combined earnings of $7.1 million (roughly Rs.59 crore).
Sindhu, the lone Indian world champion who won in 2019, is also ahead of 2021 US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez of Canada, 2022 Wimbledon and US Open runner-up Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, and United States football sensation Megan Rapinoe, among others.
Surprisingly, $7 million of Sindhu’s profits came from outside sources, while just $100,000 came from on-field revenues.
For the third year in a row, Japanese tennis star and four-time Major winner Naomi Osaka leads the list with a total worth of $51.1 million, with Serena Williams, who announced her retirement from the sport earlier this year, finishing in second with $41.3 million. Eileen Gu, a 19-year-old freestyle skier from China, is third on the list with $20.1 million.
Seven of the top ten are tennis players, with Gu, American gymnast Simone Biles, and Australian golfer Minjee Lee rounding out the top three. It is also the first time that eight women have made $10 million apiece, more than doubling the amount from a year ago, and the first time that more than seven have done so since Forbes launched the list in 2008. Before taxes and agency fees, the top 25 earned a total of $285 million, with the top ten accounting for $194 million.
Sindhu was enjoying a fantastic 2022 season until a stress fracture in her ankle forced her to withdraw from all competitions, including the World Championships, in early August. The world No. 6 began the year by winning the Syed Modi India International in Lucknow in January, her first championship in 29 months, and then won the Swiss Open in Basel in March.
In July, she won her third championship of the year, the Singapore Open, before claiming a historic gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, completing her set of quadrennial medals. In April-May, she won a second bronze medal in the Badminton Asia Championships in Manila. Sindhu remained in the top eight in the global rankings despite not playing for over five months of the year.