Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka recently became the world's highest-paid female athlete.
The 22-year-old displaced her role model, Serena Williams at the top of the list according to Forbes magazine.
Osaka, who is one of the best tennis
players in the world, made £30.7m in prize money and endorsements over the past 12 months
It is £1.15m more than the amount earned by Williams, who has dominated women's tennis in the last 15 years.
Williams and Osaka also broke the previous single-year earnings record of £24.4m set in 2015 by Russian star Maria Sharapova.
The year 2019 proved to be a successful one for Osaka on the tennis court as she won her second grand slam (also completed back-to-back Grand Slam tournaments).
Osaka clinched the 2018 US Open and then lifted the 2019 Australian Open, becoming the first player to achieve this feat since Jennifer Capriati in 2001.
The Chūō-ku-born athlete, whose mother is Japanese and father is Haitian, has been ranked number one by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).
Furthermore, Osaka has won five titles on the WTA Tour, including two titles at both the Grand Slam and Premier Mandatory levels.
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Her success on the tennis court has seen her become one of the most marketable women athletes in the world.
The highly-rated player ranked second in endorsement income in 2019 behind only Serena Williams and looks destined to surpass the American icon.
Osaka has endorsement deals with American sportswear giants, Nike, Japanese automobile manufacturer Nissan and Japanese electronics manufacturer, Citizen Watch.
The 2018 Indian Wells Masters champion is also ranked number 29 among the 100 highest-paid athletes, while Williams is number 33 according to Forbes magazine.
“To those outside the tennis world, Osaka is a relatively fresh face with a great back story,” says David Carter, a sports business professor at USC’s Marshall School of Business.
“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.”
Lastly, Osaka also endorses several other Japanese companies, including noodle maker Nissin Foods, cosmetics producer Shiseido, the broadcasting station Wowow and airline All Nippon Airways (ANA).
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