Japanese two-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka has displaced US rival Serena Williams to become the world’s highest-paid female athlete.
According to Forbes magazine, Osaka, 22, raked in £30.7m in prize money nd endorsements over the past 12 months.
That was £1.15m more than the amount earned by Serena.
Osaka and Serena shattered the previous single-year earnings record of £24.4m set in 2015 by Russia’s Maria Sharapova.
Since Forbes began tracking women athletes’ income in 1990, tennis players have topped the annual list every year.
Born of an Haiti father and a Japanese, Osaka is 29th 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.
The complete Forbes list, due to be released next week, has not featured two women since 2016, the magazine says.
Osaka met Serena in the 2018 US Open final and claimed her first Grand Slam title in a highly controversial match in which the American was given three code violations by the umpire.
She 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.
Serena 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.
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.Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.