Serena Williams Becomes First Athlete to Make Forbes’ Richest Self-Made Women List

Serena Williams has reached another milestone in her storied career. The tennis superstar has just been featured in Forbes‘ annual list of the World’s Richest Self-Made Women, becoming the first athlete to be included. She also graces the cover of the special issue, which spotlights 80 of America’s “most successful ceiling crashers.” Williams uploaded the cover to her Instagram account today after the new issue was unveiled.

“Be the brand,” she captioned the image. “Starting @Serena and @Serena.Ventures are just a few steps. Honored to be the first athlete on @Forbes #SelfMadeWomen list.”

Forbes estimates Williams’ fortune at $225 million, with the most of it “having come via her brain and brand rather than her backhand,” the publication notes. Indeed, while she currently tops the WTA career prize money list (earnings she’s made from playing matches and winning tournaments), the majority of her earnings is derived from her lucrative sponsorship deals, business ventures and multiple investments. As Forbes explains, she’s been pouring money into 34 startups over the past five years. Serena Ventures, which launched in 2014, invests in companies that embrace diversity, minorities and women’s empowerment.

According to the Women’s Tennis Association, she has accumulated nearly $85 million in career prize money with a record 72 singles titles. (That amounts to nearly $50 million more than any other female tennis player.)

In addition to salary, Williams has more than a dozen endorsement deals, including her long-standing partnership with Nike as well as Wilson Sporting Goods, Audemars Piguet, Beats by Dre, Berlei, Gatorade, Chase, Intel, IBM, Aston Martin, Mini, Tempur-Pedic, Delta Air Lines and Pepsi — all of which account for tens of millions in profits.

Since coming back to the tennis tour last year after giving birth to her first child, Williams went on to reach the finals of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. She recently played in this year’s French Open tournament, where she lost her third-round match against fellow American Sofia Kenin.

Notable names from Forbes’ “America’s Richest Self-Made Women” list include Oprah Winfrey, Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Meyer.

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