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Tennis- Naomi Osaka Becomes The Highest Paid Female Athlete

By Ibrahim Taiwo, The Nigerian Voice Sports
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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.

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.

According to Forbes magazine, Osaka, 22, a two-time Grand Slam winner, made £30.7m (which is £1.15m more than what Serena Williams earned) in prize money and endorsements in the last year.

Both Osaka and Williams broke the previous single-year earnings record of £24.4m set in 2015 by Russia's Maria Sharapova.

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.

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.

Osaka, whose father was born in Haiti and whose mother is Japanese, is on the 29th spot 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.

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