Naomi Osaka has become the world’s highest-paid female athlete, making $37.4 million in the past year for an earnings record, according to Forbes magazine.
The 22-year-old Asian star, a two-time Grand Slam champion, edged Serena Williams by $1.4 million in prize money and endorsement income.
Both players broke the old record of $29.7 million set in 2015 by Russia’s Maria Sharapova, who retired in February.
“To those outside the tennis world, Osaka is a relatively fresh face with a great back story,” University of Southern California sports business professor David Carter told Forbes.
“Combine that with being youthful and bicultural – two attributes that help her resonate with younger, global audiences – and the result is the emergence of a global sports marketing icon.”
Osaka, whose father was born in Haiti and whose mother is Japanese, ranks 29th on the 2020 Forbes list of the world’s 100 top-paid athletes, four spots ahead of Williams, who has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles.
Williams, 38, had been the world’s highest-paid female athlete in each of the past four years.
Forbes will release the new list next week.