• Naomi Osaka earned $5.1 million from matches and tournaments and $55 million from endorsements last year
  • Serena Williams is the second-highest-paid female athlete of 2021
  • Williams earned $41.5 million last year, with $40 million coming from her endorsements deals

Naomi Osaka, arguably the face of women’s tennis today, is the world’s highest-paid female athlete of 2021.

The Japanese tennis player earned $60 million last year, according to Forbes’ list of the top 50 highest-paid athletes.

Of this figure, only $5.1 million came from court earnings. The 24-year-old made the remaining $55 million outside the sport, proving that she is one of the most marketable athletes today.

Osaka’s name is reportedly associated with a number of world-renowned brands including Airbnb, All Nippon Airways, Beats Electronics, BodyArmor, Frankies Bikinis, GoDaddy, Google, Hyperice, Levi Strauss & Co, Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Mastercard, Melco Crown Entertainment, Morinaga & Company, Nike, Nissan Motor and Nissin Foods Holdings.

Osaka ranked no. 12 overall, tied with golf legend Tiger Woods, and was one of only two women who made Forbes' top 50 list.

The other woman athlete who appeared on the list was Osaka’s fellow tennis player Serena Williams, who earned $41.5 million in 2021.

Williams, who ranked no. 28 overall, reportedly received $1.5 million in court earnings and earned another $40 million from endorsements deals.

A separate ranking published by Sportico in August 2021 revealed different estimates.

While Osaka and Williams were still the top two highest-paid women athletes of 2021, the outlet said they earned $55.2 million and $35.5 million, respectively.

Gymnast Simone Biles was named by the outlet the third-highest-paid female athlete with $6 million in earnings.

Biles, whose World Championship gold medals are more than twice as many as those of any other female gymnast, landed endorsement deals with Athleta, Visa, United Airlines, Uber Eats and Mondelez’s Oreo brand.

South Korean golfer Ko Jin-young also made Sportico’s list. According to the outlet, she was paid $5.6 million in 2021. Of this figure, $2.1 million came from her earnings in tournaments and matches, while the remaining $3.5 million came from endorsements.

The fifth-highest-paid female athlete, according to the list, is another South Korean golfer, Kim Sei-young. She reportedly made $4.7 million last year. The 28-year-old was named Ladies Professional Golf Association Player of the Year in 2020.

Japan's Naomi Osaka make a winning start to the new season
Japan's Naomi Osaka make a winning start to the new season AFP / William WEST