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Maria Sharapova Highest-Paid Female Athlete: Forbes

Serena Williams may be the No.1-ranked player, but she can not match the earnings power of Maria Sharapova, reports Forbes.com.

Thanks to a bevy of endorsements with blue chip companies like Nike, Sony, Ericsson  and Tiffany, Sharapova pulled in $24.5 million over the past year, making her the highest-paid female athlete in the world. She earned $1 million from prize money, with the rest derived from endorsements and appearance fees.

Sharapova has struggled in recent years on the court with injuries, but has bounced back in 2010 with two tourney wins. She also signed a massive eight-year deal with Nike at the beginning of the year that could be worth as much as $70 million. The deal provides royalties from her own tennis line, as well as a line of bags and shoes through Nike subsidiary Cole Haan.