Naomi Osaka Melbourne Summer Set 2022

Naomi Osaka tops Forbes list of highest-earning female athletes ahead of Serena and Venus Williams

Naomi Osaka has been named atop Forbes list of highest-paid female athletes, pipping the likes of pipping Venus and Serena Williams to the top spot.

Whilst tennis players formed half of the list, with five of the top ten being from the upper echelons of the tennis world and four coming within the top five, this is marked the lowest amount of tennis players on the list in over a decade.

Four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka ranked first earning $57 million (£41.5 million). A large portion of these earnings came through advertising and promotions as Japanese star Osaka added partnerships with 10 brands to her endorsement portfolio.

Osaka signed commercial deals with Nike, Tag Heuer, Louis Vuitton, Beats by Dre and Mastercard and also owns equity stakes in BodyArmor and Hyperice.

This comes after a year where Osaka withdrew from both the French Open and Wimbledon after revealing she had been suffering with depression and anxiety.

However, Osaka won the Australian Open last year before losing in the third round of the US Open to eventual finalist Leylah Fernandez.

Other notable names on the list include two two-time Grand Slam winners in current World number one Ashleigh Barty and Spanish world number three American Garbine Muguruza, as well as American Gymnast Simone Biles.

23-time Grand Slam titlist Serena Williams ranked second on the list with $46 million (£33.5 million), whilst sister and seven-time Slam victor Venus Williams earned $11.3 million (£8.2 million) to put her third.

Other tennis players that made the list are two-time Slam aces current World number one Barty and World number three Muguruza. Muguruza ranked fifth with $8 million (£5.8 million), whilst Barty earned $7 million (£5 million) putting her in eighth.

No women’s tennis player earned more from their on-court performances than Barty, although, every other tennis player on the list made considerably more through their off-court earnings.

The world’s top ten highest-paid female athletes earned a combined total of $167 million. This was a rise of 23% from 2020 and was 16% higher than the previous record, $143 million in 2013.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.