Naomi Osaka of Japan poses with the trophy after beating Australia's Ashleigh Barty in the final of the China Open in Beijing.

Naomi Osaka becomes the most profitable female athlete in history after making $ 37 million last year

The 22-year-old accumulated the pre-tax incredible total through a combination of cash prizes and sponsorships, earning $ 1.4 million more than Serena Williams in the past 12 months.

Williams, 23 times Grand Slam champion, has been the highest paid female athlete in the past four years, earning $ 18 to $ 29 million.

But Osaka has now broken Maria Sharapova’s previous record for a female athlete who was set in 2015 when she totaled $ 29.7 million.

The sponsor’s dream

Osaka has won two major slams in its career to date, emerging as one of the brightest stars on the WTA Tour.

He famously beat Williams at the US Open in 2018 to claim his first major before doubling his reach at the Australian Open the following year.

His form on the pitch has changed since then, but his global appeal has only increased.

Having been born in Japan, Osaka grew up in the United States and became popular with sponsors.

According to Forbes, he now has 15 support partners and has signed a profitable apparel deal with Nike.

Osaka ranks 29th among the top 100 highest paid athletes, ahead of Williams who is in 33rd place. The full Forbes list for 2020 is expected to be published next week.

Dealing with shyness

Despite his obvious talent on the field, Osaka initially struggled with global attention.

Shyness made interviews and interaction in the locker rooms difficult, but she is now determined to make the most of her platform.

“There are many times when I find myself in situations where I could have made my contribution, but instead I kept my tongue and things kept moving in a way that I didn’t like very much,” he recently said Sports of CNN.

“I feel like I imposed myself I would have had the opportunity to see what would happen.”

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