Sport

Tennis star Naomi Osaka passes Serena Williams as top-earning female athlete

Tennis star Naomi Osaka passes Serena Williams as top-earning female athlete”

Now she is No. 1 on another list: top-earning female athlete.

Both shattered the old single-year earnings mark of $29.7 million set in 2015 by Russia's Maria Sharapova, who retired in February with five Grand Slam titles, including a career Slam.

The 22-year-old Asian star, a two-time Grand Slam champion, edged U.S. rival Serena Williams by $1.4 million in prize money and endorsement income over the past year.

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.

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

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

Roger Federer was the highest earner in the sport past 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.

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Williams had led the way among women each of the past four years.

"To those outside the tennis world, Osaka is a relatively fresh face", he told Forbes, nodding to her decision to represent Japan despite spending most of her life at tennis academies in Florida.

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.

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

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

Footballers made up the top three earners past year. The 38-year-old, 23-time Grand Slam victor did just fine, earning $36 million for the second-biggest payday ever for a female athlete.



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