LONDON: Japan’s Naomi Osaka has surpassed Serena Williams as the world’s highest-paid female athlete, raking in $37.4 million in prize money and endorsements over the last year, according to Forbes.
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 $1.4 million more than American great Williams who had topped the list for the last four years.
Maria Sharapova had held the record for 12-month earnings for a female athlete, having made $29.7 million in 2015.
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.
Osaka burst into the limelight by beating Williams in the 2018 US 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.
Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2020