Pusarla V Sindhu has once again made the Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid women athletes.
The Indian world No.11, despite having a below-par year by her standards, continued to be the most marketable woman athlete in badminton. With earnings of US$7.1 million, Pusarla is ranked 16th along with gymnastics legend Simone Biles.
The Forbes list is led by Polish tennis star Iga Swiatek, who earned around US$23.9 million in 2023. Apart from tennis, which dominates the top 20 with 11 athletes, golf and soccer have two athletes each, while badminton, basketball, gymnastics and freestyle diving have a sole representative.
The Indian has frequently been among the top female earners in sports, as ranked by Forbes. In 2018 she broke into the top 10 with US$ 8.5 million, and was placed seventh overall.
Last year Pusarla’s US$ 7.1 million earnings placed her 12th in the list, which was led by Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka.
Pusarla has had a challenging year, with her season beginning with three opening-round exits on the HSBC BWF World Tour. In March she fell out of the top 10, and by July she had slipped to world No.17, her lowest ranking in a decade. Her first notable result of the season was a runner-up place at the Madrid Spain Masters, where she beat Mia Blichfeldt and Yeo Jia Min before falling to Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in the final.
After a prolonged lean spell which she attributed to injury, Pusarla finally turned it around at the Arctic Open by making the semifinals, a feat she repeated the following week at the VICTOR Denmark Open. These performances have lifted her ranking, and she’s currently on the verge of breaking back into the top 10.