Naomi Osaka- Japanese tennis star becomes world’s highest-paid female athlete
- Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has become the world’s highest-paid female athlete, displacing US rival Serena Williams at the top of the list.
- According to Forbes magazine, Osaka, 22, a two-time Grand Slam champion, made £30.7m in prize money and endorsements over the past 12 months.
- That was £1.15m more than the amount earned by 38-year-old Williams.
- Both shattered the previous single-year earnings record of £24.4m set in 2015 by Russia’s Maria Sharapova.
- Since Forbes began tracking women athletes‘ income in 1990, tennis players have topped the annual list every year.
- Osaka, whose father was born in Haiti and whose mother is Japanese, is 29th on the 2020 Forbes list of the world’s 100 top-paid athletes, four spots ahead of Williams, the winner of 23 Grand Slam singles titles.
- The pair met in the 2018 US Open final with Osaka winning her first Grand Slam title in a highly controversial match in which Williams was given three code violations by the umpire.
- The Japanese then won the 2019 Australian Open, although her form has since dipped and she has fallen from world number one to 10th on the WTA rankings.
- Osaka has been a popular endorsement figure in Japan in the build-up to the now-postponed Tokyo Olympics, securing lucrative deals with global brands Nike, Nissan and Yonex, among others.
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