Naomi Osaka overtakes Serena Williams to become the world’s highest-paid female athlete

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Japanese tennis star, Naomi Osaka has surpassed Serena Williams as the world’s highest-paid female athlete, raking in $37.4million in prize money and endorsements over the last year, according to Forbes.

The 22-year-old also broke Maria Sharapova’s previous record for a female athlete which was set in 2015 when she totaled $29.7 million.

According to Forbes magazine, Osaka, a two-time Grand Slam champion, made £30.7m in prize money and endorsements over the past 12 months, setting a new record. That was £1.15m more than the amount earned by 38-year-old Williams.

Williams, a 23-time grand slam champion, has been the highest-paid female athlete for the last four years — earning between $18 million to $29 million.

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Osaka ranks at No. 29 in the Forbes top-100 highest-paid athletes in 2020, ahead of Serena Williams who sits 33rd. This is the first time since 2016 that two female athletes have been ranked in Forbes’ top-100 best-paid athletes list.

Osaka rose to fame after beating Williams in the 2018 U.S. Open final – a highly-controversial match in which Williams was given three code violations by the umpire.

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.

Florida-based Osaka has mixed heritage – 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.

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