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Tennis star Naomi Osaka becomes world's highest-paid female athlete: Forbes

In this Jan. 22, 2020 file photo, Japan's Naomi Osaka reacts after defeating China's Zheng Saisai in their second-round singles match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

LONDON (Kyodo) -- Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka earned $37.4 million in prize money and endorsements and broke the all-time earnings record for a female athlete in a single year, Forbes reported Friday.

The 22-year-old Osaka bested the record previously held by Maria Sharapova, who earned $29.7 million in 2015, and ranks No. 29 among the 100 highest-paid athletes, the report said.

American tennis giant Serena Williams placed 33rd among the 100, earning $1.4 million less than Osaka. It is the first time since 2016 that two women have made the rankings for the top-paid athletes.

According to the report, Osaka, a two-time Grand Slam champion, received $10 million last year from sports equipment manufacturer Nike Inc. in a deal that runs through 2025.

Her 15 endorsement partners also include Nissan Motor Co., Shiseido Co. and Yonex Co., Forbes said. Some companies have signed deals with Osaka to use her around marketing for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, now postponed to next year.

Osaka, whose parents are from Japan and Haiti, won the 2018 U.S. Open and the 2019 Australian Open. She became world No. 1 in the women's singles rankings in January 2019 after winning her second Grand Slam.

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