Williams ended the Russian’s 11-year reign as the world number one women’s money earner in sports by hauling in $28.9 million in combined prize money and off-field earnings over the past 12 months, the magazine said on Monday.
Sharapova, who lost some sponsorship money after announcing she had tested positive for the recently banned substance meldonium at the Australian Open in January and is provisionally suspended, holds second spot at $21.9 million.
American mixed martial arts standout Ronda Rousey shot up to third on the list at $14 million from eighth place and $6.5 million, just ahead of compatriot and NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, who earned $13.9 million, according to www.forbes.com.
The rest of the women’s top 10 were also tennis players.
Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska ranked fifth at $10.2 million followed by Dane Caroline Wozniacki ($8 million), Spain’s newly-crowned French Open champion Garbine Muguruza ($7.6 million), Serb Ana Ivanovic ($7.4 million), Victoria Azarenka of Belarus ($6.6) and Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard ($6.2 million).