The women's tennis' number one reached the French Open final on Saturday, only to lose out to Garbine Muguruza at Roland Garros.
Tennis star earns $28.9million in past 12 months
Serena Williams has replaced Maria Sharapova as the world's best-paid female athlete, earning $28.9million in the past 12 months.
It was her second major final defeat of the year, after losing out to Angelique Kerber at the Australian Open, as her search for a record-equalling 22nd grand slam goes on.
Williams, who won three out of four majors in 2015, has moved to the top of the list ahead of Sharapova, who has been out of action since January after she tested positive for banned substance meldonium at the Australian Open.
In the 12-month period from June 1 last year, Williams' earnings totalled $28.9million - $20m of which was endorsements.
Sharapova raked in $21.9m while UFC superstar Ronda Rousey ($14m) completes the top three.
American race driver Danica Patrick is fourth, having earned £13.9m, while the remainder of the top 10 are all tennis players, including Muguruza - seventh with $7.6m - although those earnings will not include prize money garnered from her French Open win.
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