Two-time Olympic Games medallist PV Sindhu features in Forbes’ top 10 highest-paid female athletes in the world, a list that is topped once again by tennis star Naomi Osaka.

Sindhu was ranked No 7, with total earnings of $7.2 million for 2021. She had previously feature in the list in 2018, also at No 7 with earnings of $8.5 million then.

Osaka, at $57.3 million, has topped the chart for the second straight year followed by the Williams sisters Serena and Venus. According to the report on Forbes, “the world’s ten highest-paid female athletes earned a combined $167 million before taxes in 2021 (...) the picture is not entirely rosy: Osaka and [Serena] Williams account for virtually all of the increase, and no other woman on this list has even a remote chance of ranking among the world’s highest-paid athletes of either sex.”

Sindhu said that her re-entry in the list is a source of confidence for her and a sign that more kids want to take up the sport as a career option.

“I’m happy about that. Featuring me is a feel-good thing. Placing me with the top female athletes is definitely a good sign for me, it will give me a lot of confidence,” Sindhu told BWF, after making the semifinals of the India Open 2022.

“Not only now, but especially after 2016, after Saina (Nehwal) and me, a lot of kids have been doing well (financially). I’ve seen new players coming up, boys and girls, and parents are happy. A lot of parents tell me they want to enroll their kids in badminton, so definitely it’s a good game if you work hard and do well for yourself. You will get a lot of success.” Sindhu added.

Sindhu’s earnings are predominantly from off-the-field earnings. Her on-the-field earnings were $0.2 million, a figure significantly lower than tennis stars on the list, while the rest ($7 million) is through endorsements for the Indian ace. Sindhu, in 2021, became the first Indian female athlete to win two Olympic medals.

Also read: The importance of being PV Sindhu

The Forbes report noted that Sindhu is, “hugely popular in India and has appeared in this list’s top ten once before, in 2018. She followed her silver-medal-winning performance in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 with a bronze last year in Tokyo, becoming the first Indian woman with two Olympic medals. She has added four sponsors since returning home, including ed-tech giant Byju’s and used-car platform Spinny, on top of partners like Li-Ning sportswear and India’s Bank of Baroda.”