Naomi Osaka becomes world’s highest-earning female athlete

Ruben Hill
May 22, 2020

Osaka is No. 29 overall, with Williams at No. 33, on Forbes' annual list of the 100 top-earning athletes.

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 a year ago, according to Forbes.

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

Osaka has been a marketing gold mine in her native Japan and around the world.

The complete Forbes list, due to be released next week, has not featured two women since 2016, the magazine says.

Roger Federer was the highest earner in the sport previous year, collecting an astonishing $93.4 million that included enormous backing from the likes of clothing line Uniqlo, with whom he has a $300 million long-term deal.

With $37.4 million in prize money and endorsements over the past year, Osaka is the highest-paid female athlete ever.

Osaka's many fans are clued into her enormous wealth, as the world No. 10 posted from a private jet earlier this month.

Osaka has become a champion on both of the occasions when she has progressed beyond the fourth round at a Grand Slam, winning the 2018 US Open as a 20-year-old before again emerging victorious at the Australian Open the following January.

She has won about $14.5 million in career prize money, according to the WTA, a little less than half of which was earned in 2019. Her deal with Nike is worth more than $10 million annually and runs through 2025.

Since Forbes began tracking women athletes' income figures in 1990, tennis players have topped the annual list of female top income earners every year.

She followed up her U.S. Open victory by claiming the Australian Open title in 2019 for back-to-back Grand Slam victories.

That was £1.15m more than the amount earned by 38-year-old Williams.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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