(Reuters) – Japan’s Naomi Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam tennis champion who has helped raise awareness of mental health issues in sport, is the highest-paid female athlete in the world, according to a list published by the business magazine on Thursday. Forbes.
Osaka raised $57.3 million in prizes and sponsorships over the past year, almost all of which came from a sponsorship portfolio that added more than 10 brand partners over the past year and a half. .
The list was released after a year in which Osaka pulled out of the French Open to focus on her mental health amid a public row over mandatory Grand Slam press conferences, claiming they had been too detrimental to his mental well-being.
Fellow tennis players Serena Williams ($45.9 million) and older sister Venus ($11.3 million) were next on the list. American gymnast Simone Biles ($10.1 million) and Spanish tennis player Garbine Muguruza ($8.8 million) complete the top five.
Tennis players made up five of the 10 spots on the list, which Forbes said marked the sport’s lowest tally in more than a decade and a stark change from 2019, when it won all 10.
Collectively, the 10 highest-paid female athletes earned a total of $166.6 million, which Forbes says is a 23% increase from its 2020 list.
South Korean golfer Ko Jin-young ($7.5m), Indian badminton player PV Sindhu ($7.2m), world number one tennis player Ash Barty ($6.9m) , golfer Nelly Korda ($5.9 million) and basketball player Candace Parker ($5.7 million) were the other athletes in the top 10.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)