Osaka surpasses Serena Williams as world's highest-paid female athlete

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka's mixed heritage, her engaging personality and attacking style of play have combined to make her one of the world's most marketable athletes. File photo: AFP
SHARE

London: Japan's Naomi Osaka has surpassed Serena Williams as the world's highest-paid female athlete, raking in $37.4 million in prize money and endorsements over the last year, according to Forbes.

The 22-year-old twice Grand Slam champion's total is the most ever earned by a female athlete in a 12-month period.

She earned $1.4 million more than American great Serena who had topped the list for the last four years.

Maria Sharapova had held the record for 12-month earnings for a female athlete, having made $29.7 million in 2015.

Female tennis players have always occupied top spot on Forbes's women's list since 1990 with either Serena or Russian Sharapova leading the way from 2004.

Serena Williams
Serena Williams. File photo

Osaka burst into the limelight by beating Serena in the 2018 US Open final -- a highly-controversial match in which Serena was given three code violations by the umpire.

The Japanese then won the next Grand Slam, the 2019 Australian Open, although her form has dipped since and she has fallen from world number one to 10th on the WTA rankings.

Florida-based Osaka's mixed heritage -- she has a Japanese mother and Haitian-American father -- her engaging personality and attacking style of play have combined to make her one of the world's most marketable athletes.

Masha
Maria Sharapova. File photo

Part of the stable of management group IMG, Osaka currently has 15 sponsorship deals, including with global brands such as Nike, Nissan Motors, Shiseido and Yonex.

MORE IN TENNIS
SHOW MORE
The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.