Serena Williams' $3.9m US Open prize money makes her the second highest-earning tennis player this year

 
Joe Hall
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Serena Williams has now won 18 Grand Slam titles (Source: Getty)
Serena Williams pocketed $3.9m (£1.86m) for her sixth US Open triumph last night, making her the highest-paid tennis female player this year with earnings of $6.7m.
After adding an 18th grand slam title to her record this weekend, Williams reinforced her position as women's tennis’ biggest ever earner in terms of prize money. Williams has total on-court career earnings of $60.9m, Maria Sharapova is far behind in second place with $30.9m.
On top of the $3m she picked up for her Flushing Meadows victory over Caroline Wozniacki, Williams has won over $100,000 at 10 competitions on the WTA tour this year, despite not making it past the fourth round in any of the three majors prior to the US Open.
With WTA and ATP statistics combined, Williams is second to Novak Djokovic in overall winnings for the year so far. Djokovic has won $8m after back-to-back victories at Roland Garros and Wimbledon.
Williams has been dominating her field for so long - she won her first slam 15 years ago - she has career earnings almost double her nearest competitors Sharapova and sister Venus Williams.
Retired greats such as Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova may have been closer but retired before all four grand slams paid equal prize money to men and women.
Despite the fact Williams has won just one grand slam title and performed relatively poorly in the others, the American holds such a lofty position in this year's earnings table thanks to the lofty pay packet that comes with victory in New York.
The US Open pays its champions more than any other slam. Wimbledon is second with $2.84m, the Australian Open offers $2.85m while the French Open is the least profitable for players, with prize money of $2.14m.
As the US Open sounds the loudest "kerching" for tennis players, it’s no surprise Williams’ total career earnings are so stratospheric. Her most recent win was her sixth in the competition, a record that places her level with fellow American Chris Evert for most women’s singles titles.
However, Williams has the slight edge over her compatriot thanks to her three US Open doubles titles.
Of course, it is the near-unrivalled number of titles that truly signifies Williams’ greatness. In sport, names etched onto silverware count more than those scribbled onto cheques.
With 18 grand slam victories, Williams has now caught up with Evert and Martina Navratilova and is just four shy of Margaret Court’s all time record of 24 titles.
"It means a lot to me," said the world number one after her victory on Sunday.
"I just could never have imagined that I would be mentioned with Chris Evert or with Martina Navratilova, because I was just a kid with a dream and a racquet.”
That dream and that racquet have taken Williams to greatness, and earned her many, many millions along the way.

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