Update – Sport
The 22-year-old Japanese tennis player racked up $37 million in earnings in the past year, more than any other female athlete in history.
Naomi Osaka was only a year old when Serena Williams won her first Grand Slam title in 1999.
Nineteen years later, Osaka beat Williams at the U.S. Open final to win her first Grand Slam. It was one of the most controversial matches in Open history, involving three code violations called against Williams.
Now the 22-year-old ace has beaten her legendary rival once again, this time for bragging rights as the highest-paid female athlete in the world.
Osaka earned $37.4 million the last 12 months from prize money and endorsements, $1.4 million more than Serena, setting an all-time earnings record for a female athlete in a single year; Maria Sharapova previously held the record with $29.7 million in 2015.
Osaka ranks No. 29 among the 100 highest-paid athletes while Williams is No. 33. It’s the first time since 2016 that two women have made the ranks of the 100 highest-paid athletes, with the full 2020 list set for release next week.
She turned pro in 2014, a month before her 16th birthday. She cracked the WTA’s top 40 in 2016 and won her first title in March 2018 at Indian Wells. In the 12 months that followed, she became the first Japanese player to win a Slam, and the first Asian tennis player ever to be ranked No. 1 in the world.
Osaka held dual citizenship growing up but made the wise choice to represent Japan ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, now postponed to 2021.