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lindagray

Most famous women athletes in the world right now 18-25

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18. P.V. Sindhu

India, badminton

In a country where Saina Nehwal is treated as the badminton queen, it's easy for a younger player to get lost in the shuffle. But World No. 3 P.V. Sindhu, 22, is making sure that doesn't happen. Her medal tally does the talking: silver at the Rio Olympics, silver at the 2017 World Championship, and gold and silver at the 2017 Commonwealth Games. The Indian government awarded her some of the highest sports and civilian awards (Arjuna Award, Padma Shri and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award) in the history of the country. And she's making heads turn off the court, too. As of 2017, she's ranked No. 2 on the list of the highest-paid Indian athletes in endorsements -- only behind Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, who's No. 11 on the World Fame 100 -- earning about $7.3 million, according to the Economic Times . -- Aishwarya Kumar

19. Angelique Kerber

Germany, tennis

It was a rough 2017 for the then-world No. 1 German, making shocking first-round exits at the French Open and US Open (she dropped out of the top 10 shortly thereafter). But after last season, she hired a new coach, Belgian Wim Fissette, and is turning a corner. She reached the semifinal of the Australian Open, playing her way back toward the top 10. And despite her drop in form, she was still one of the highest-paid tennis players in the world in 2017, with $12.6 million in total earnings and $7.6 million in prize money, according to Forbes. Already an endorser of Adidas and Yonex, Kerber signed with Rolex in 2017 and was named one of the ambassadors for UNICEF. -- Aishwarya Kumar

20. Alina Zagitova

Russia, figure skating

Talk about an Olympic moment. Sixteen-year-old Russian Alina Zagitova became the youngest figure skater since Tara Lipinski to win when she pipped training partner Evgenia Medvedeva for the gold in Pyeongchang. Her parents had her future in mind when they named her after Alina Kabaeva, the Russian rhythmic gymnast who won gold in Athens. (Side note: Kabaeva is also rumored to be Vladimir Putin's girlfriend.) Zagitova has since met Putin, who awarded her with the Order of Friendship for her accomplishments in Korea. -- Elaine Teng

21. Agnieszka Radwanska

Poland, tennis

The 29-year-old Agnieszka Radwanska did not have her best season on the court in 2017, suffering from foot injuries for a large part of the year. With a 25-18 record, she finished the season at No. 28, her worst performance since 2006. Despite her lukewarm performance on court (she's had a slow start to 2018 after sustaining a back injury ahead of the French Open), she's been busy off the court. She married her long-term partner and tennis player Dawid Celt in a Polish church last year, with close friends Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber in attendance. -- Aishwarya Kumar

22. Evgenia Medvedeva

Russia, figure skating

Expectations were so high for the 18-year-old Russian that a silver medal at Pyeongchang could only be seen as a disappointment. Evgenia Medvedeva had been undefeated in international competition for more than two years until she suffered a foot injury just two months before the Olympics. When she lost the gold medal to younger training partner Alina Zagitova, then 15, Medvedeva put on a brave face. But in May, she announced she was splitting with her longtime coach, who also trains Zagitova. Off the ice, Medvedeva is a self-proclaimed anime and K-pop fan: She's skated in a Sailor Moon outfit, tweets about her favorite shows -- including figure skating anime series Yuri on Ice -- and, most important for her, met K-pop band EXO at the closing ceremonies. -- Elaine Teng

23. Aly Raisman

USA, gymnastics

Aly Raisman is no longer just a six-time Olympic gold medalist and captain of the 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams. Since November, when she appeared on CBS's "60 Minutes" to reveal that she was a victim of convicted sexual predator Larry Nassar, Raisman has become the face and voice of gymnasts who suffered abuse at his hands. "This group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time are now a force, and you are nothing," she told Nassar at his sentencing hearing in January. She didn't stop there. In March, Raisman sued the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, claiming both organizations "knew or should have known" about abusive patterns by the disgraced former national team doctor, who's now in prison. "I refuse to wait any longer for these organizations to do the right thing," Raisman said in a statement at the time. "It is my hope that the legal process will hold them accountable and enable the change that is so desperately needed." Raisman is finding her voice, and then some. -- Laura M. Purtell

24. Paige VanZant

USA, MMA

Ahead of a UFC Fight Night in December 2016, Paige VanZant wasn't discussing her upcoming bout with Michelle Waterson. Instead, the flyweight was primarily asked about her recent appearance on "Dancing with the Stars." "Nobody asked Antonio Brown or Von Miller if they were going back to the NFL [after being on DWTS]," she told ESPN's Brett Okamoto at the time. "Maybe it's a stereotypical thing, because I'm a girl in something I don't necessarily belong in? I'll take it as a compliment. I do belong in Hollywood, but I also belong in the UFC." VanZant is 7-4 after two consecutive losses -- one to Waterson, and the next by unanimous decision to Jessica-Rose Clark in January 2018. (VanZant broke her arm in the first round of that bout ... and still went on to finish the three-round fight.) Outside of the Octagon, VanZant has been promoting her book, "Rise: Surviving the Fight of My Life," in which she says she was sexually assaulted when she was 14 years old. -- Laura M. Purtell

25. Jwala Gutta

India, badminton

Jwala Gutta, 34, has represented India in the international arena for more than 15 years. She's won medals for India at the World and Asian Championships and made India care about doubles badminton. So it only made sense that, in 2017, she decided to take on an added role: She was named to the Badminton Association of India's (BAI) coaches panel that guides women's doubles. She has yet to retire, but she says she's already thinking of ways to improve the status of doubles badminton in India. Outside badminton, Gutta is known for her outspoken remarks -- she's called out the BAI and Indian government for discrimination, and when she is not fighting for her rights, she fights for women's rights and animal rights. -- Aishwarya Kumar

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