Pusarla V. Sindhu’s inclusion in the Forbes list for the highest-paid female athletes of 2021 was an indicator, she said, of badminton being a rewarding career option for young players. The Indian, who previously made the list in 2018, is the only badminton player among the top-earning sportswomen of the world.
“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,” she said, after making the semifinals of the YONEX-SUNRISE India Open 2022.
Such recognition had the impact of enabling young players to decide that badminton could be financially rewarding and a viable career.
“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.”
Pusarla, who was also in the list in 2018, is ranked No.7, with total earnings of US$7.2 million in 2021.
Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka is the top earner with US$57.3 million.
Apart from five tennis players, the list includes gymnast Simone Biles (No.4), golfers Jin Young Ko (No.6) and Nelly Korda (No.9) and basketballer Candace Parker (No.10).