Venus's $40 Million Deal

06/16/1998 at 12:00 AM EDT

Santa's been good to Venus Williams, 20, who is now tennis' $40 million woman. This year's Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Olympic gold medal champ has announced that she's signed an endorsement deal with Reebok. A representative of the sporting goods company confirmed the $40 million figure for the Associated Press and said that Williams's contract runs for five years. "This is another part of reaching out for my dreams," the athlete, who is the third-ranked tennis player in the world, said in a statement. The deal is being called one of the highest ever for a female sports figure. Top-ranked tennis star Martina Hingis reportedly has a six-year deal with Nike worth nearly $30 million and net star Anna Kournikova's deal with Adidas would earn her $50 million -- if she wins on the court. (So far, she has yet to take her first tournament.) By contrast, golf's Tiger Woods's deal with Nike will bring him an estimated $100 million, while basketball's Michael Jordan, now two years into his retirement, is said to earn an annual $40 million in endorsements.

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