Naomi Osaka topples Serena Williams as highest-paid female athlete with new all-time earnings record

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Naomi Osaka with Australian Open trophy

It was a case for two for the price of one for Naomi Osaka over the past 12 months as she beat Serena Williams to the title of highest-paid female athlete while she also broke Maria Sharapova’s record for most earnings during a single year.

According to Forbes, Osaka racked up $37.4 million (about £31m) to end 23-time Grand Slam winner Williams’ four-year run at the top as Williams earned $1.4 million (about £1m) less than the Japanese star.

Osaka, who won the 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open, also broke five-time major winner Sharapova’s record for highest earnings during the period.

Sharapova made $29.7 million (£24.4m) during the 2015 season while the $29.2m (£24m) that Williams earned last year was the previous next best milestone.

Osaka is managed by the IMG group and her major sponsors include All Nippon Airway, Nike, Nissan Motors, Procter & Gamble Shiseido and Yonex.

The $37.4m helped Osaka to rank No 29 in the Forbes list for 100 highest-paid athletes with Williams four spots below. The duo are the only two women in the top 100, which is the first time since 2016 that two women have featured on the list.

Williams still tops the all-time Forbes list for highest-earning female athlete as she her net worth is roughly $300m (about £247m) with $92m (£75m) coming from career-prize money earnings.

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