Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka displaces Serena as 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, made £ 30. 7 m 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. 4 m set in 2015 by Russia ’ s Maria Sharapova .

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

Osaka , whose father was born in Haiti and whose mother is Japanese , is 29 on the 2020 Forbes list of the world’ s 100 top – paid athletes , four spots ahead of Williams , the winner of 23 Grand Slam singles titles.

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

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 .

The Japanese then won the 2019 Australian Open , although her form has since dipped and she has fallen from world number one to 10th on the WTA rankings .

Williams had been the world ’ s highest – paid female athlete in each of the past four years, with Sharapova ruling for the five years before that.

Osaka has been a popular endorsement figure in Japan in the build – up to the now postponed Tokyo Olympics , securing lucrative deals with global brands Nike, Nissan and Yonex, among others.

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