JAPAN: 22-year-old Naomi Osaka has surpassed Serena Williams as the highest-paid female athlete, raking in $37.4 million in prize money and endorsements over the last year, according to Forbes.
While Osaka is No 29 overall, Williams is at No 33 on Forbes’ annual list of the 100 top-earning athletes.
Naomi’s total is most earned by a female athlete in a 12-month period. Maria Sharapova held the record for 12-month earnings among female athletes, having made $29.7 million in 2015.
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.
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.
Since 1990, female tennis players have always occupied the top spot on Forbes’s women’s list.