HomeBad Ass AsiansTennis Queen Naomi Osaka becomes world's highest earning female athlete

Tennis Queen Naomi Osaka becomes world’s highest earning female athlete

Photo by Rob Prange via Flickr Creative Commons.

Naomi Osaka, a two-time Grand Slam champion, became the world’s highest paid female athlete after racking over $37.4 million in prize money and endorsements last year.

Forbes reported the 22-year-old Japanese player surpassed the earnings of American tennis player Serena Williams. Since 1990, tennis players have always secured their top rankings in Forbes’ women athletes’ income list. Williams had been dubbed the “world’s highest paid female athlete” for the last four years.

According to BBC, the pair had first commenced their rivalry in the 2018 US Open Final, where Osaka first won her Grand Slam title. After winning a highly controversial match where Williams was given three code violations by the Umpire, Osaka continuously racked up millions.

The Florida-based Japanese tennis star won the 2019 Australian Open as the “first Asian to hold the top spot in either men’s or women’s tennis”, according to BuzzFeed News.

So it was no surprise when Forbes accounted Osaka to have eclipsed Williams by earning $37.4 million in the last 12 months, which was not only $1.4 million more than Williams’ earning but also an all-time earnings record for a female athlete in a single year.

As of now, the Japanese tennis star ranks No. 29 among the 100 highest-paid athletes while Williams has been pushed down to No. 33. This was the first time since 2016 that two women made it to Forbes’ 100 highest-paid athletes list. The complete Forbes list including the two female athletes’ earnings will be officially released next week.

Osaka has been one of the world’s most marketable athletes that represents mixed heritage.

Sports Business Reporter at USC’s Marshall School of Business told Forbes, “Osaka is a relatively fresh face with a great back story. Combine that with being youthful and bicultural, two attributes that help her resonate with younger, global audiences, and the result is the emergence of a global sports marketing icon.”

Born from a Japanese mother and Haitian American father, The Guardian reported Osaka to be in the center of 15 sponsorship deals; including global brands such as Nike, Nissan Motors, Shiseido and Yonex.

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