Watch Out Serena! 21-Year-Old Naomi Osaka Is Closing in Fast on Highest-Paid Athlete List
When time to honor some of the greats in the history of tennis comes, be sure that Naomi Osaka’s name will firmly be on that list. Why not, when the Women’s Tennis Association currently ranks her as World’s No. 1? That’s above both Serena and Venus Williams, the two who always come to mind first when you think of women’s tennis.
The one thing she is yet to beat Serena Williams in, however, is how much she earns from the sport, along with her associated endorsements. But that’s not to mean that the 21-year-old is doing bad at all. Coming second is quite an achievement, don’t you think?
$16 Million in Endorsements
According to Forbes, Osaka earned a total of $16 million in endorsements for the year ending 1st June. This figure contributed to making her the second-highest-paid female athlete in the world, and if that’s not an impressive feat for you, how about the fact that she didn’t make it to the top 10 the previous year?
Her exploits on the court those past twelve months attracted a lot of interest from the bigwigs, and would you believe that she ditched both Nike and Adidas sponsorship deals? IMG Tennis ended up being the company to receive her signature, thanks to their $8.5 million-a-year offer. It couldn’t get any better than that, could it?
In addition to having the tennis management company as her sponsor, Osaka also boasts a number of commercial partners, including Nissin Foods, All Nippon Airways, and Mastercard. Partnerships with these brands brought her total earnings to an impressive $24.3 million, and the lady is only in her early 20s. What more can we expect from her?
This milestone propelled the youngster to some enviable company, making her just the fourth female athlete in the US to earn over $20 million in a year. Guess who the other three are? They just so happen to be living tennis legends – Li Na, Maria Sharapova, and of course, Serena Williams.
So how much exactly did Williams make that Osaka’s $24 million couldn’t match? This being the fourth year in a row she has topped the list, the legend smiled all the way to the bank with a cool $29.2 million being the reward of an eventful twelve months.
Serena’s earnings were also a big achievement on her part, seeing as she had increased her income from $18.1 million the previous year. Of the package, $4.2 million was prize money, with all the rest being endorsement-backed. She ranked 63rd on the top 100 highest-earning athletes overall, representing all other female athletes.
To grasp how significant a happening it was for young Naomi Osaka to come in second with her $24.3 million, you only have to look at what the lady who came in third earned in the same timeframe. Angelique Kerber’s $11.8 million, while still being a huge payday for her, is miles away from the $20 million mark.
All the same, tennis players dominated the list, proving that it is indeed a lucrative sport. Of the top 15, only 4 were athletes from other sports. And what’s more, they all came after the first eleven tennis stars.
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