Naomi Osaka emerges World's highest paid female athlete - aksu360

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Naomi Osaka emerges World's highest paid female athlete

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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, has glossed some £30.7m (approx N13billion) 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.

The 22-year-old twice Grand Slam champion's total is the most ever earned by a female athlete in a 12-month period. She earned $1.4m (£1.1m) more than Serena Williams who had topped the list for the last 4 years.

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

Forbes' women's list has long been occupied by female tennis players. Russian Maria Sharapova dominated the spot for five years before Williams.

Osaka burst into the limelight by beating Williams in the 2018 U.S. Open final – a highly controversial match in which Williams was given three code violations by the umpire.  She then doubled her haul in the Australian Open in the following year. 

Her world ranking has since dropped from 1st to 10th, but nevertheless, with 15 endorsements under her belt, including global brands such as Nike, Nissan Motors, Shiseido and Yonex, the star earned a total of 37.4 million U.S. dollars in prize money and endorsements over the last year, ranking 29th on Forbes' annual list of the 100 top-earning athletes due to be released next week.

Osaka, born to a Japanese mother and a Haitian-American father, enjoys mixed-heritage and dual citizenship. In October, she renounced her U.S. citizenship and chose to represent Japan for the now-postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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