Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams top as tennis dominates rich list

Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams
Naomi Osaka (left) and Serena Williams (right) each earned almost three times as much as the third sportswoman on the list, Ashleigh Barty

The world’s nine highest-earning sportswomen over the past year are all tennis players, according to research by US business magazine Forbes.external-link

Japan’s Naomi Osaka tops the list with earnings of $37.4m (£26.3m), ahead of Serena Williams with $36m (£27.2m).

World number one Ashleigh Barty is third with income of $13.1m (£9.9m).

United States international footballer Alex Morgan is the only athlete from outside tennis in the top 10, earning $4.6m (£3.5m).

Morgan, who gave birth to her first child in May, earned $4.2m (£3.2m) of her income through endorsements during the span of Forbes analysis – between 1 June 2019 and 1 June 2020.

The US women’s team, winners of the Women’s World Cup in July 2019, are currently in dispute with their federation, appealing against a judge’s decision to reject their claims of being underpaid compared with the US men’s team.

Osaka and Williams have both broken the previous record for annual earnings, set at $29.7m (£22.3m) in 2015 by Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova.

In a list of the world’s 100 best-paid sportspeople published by Forbes in May, Osaka (29th) and Williams (33rd) were the only women.

Rank Name Sport Earnings
1 Naomi Osaka Tennis $37.4m (£26.3m)
2 Serena Williams Tennis $36m (£27.2m)
3 Ashleigh Barty Tennis $13.1m (£9.9m)
4 Simona Halep Tennis $10.9m (£8.2m)
5 Bianca Andreescu Tennis $8.9m (£6.7m)
6 Garbine Muguruza Tennis $6.6m (£5m)
7 Elina Svitolina Tennis $6.4m (£4.8m)
8 Sofia Kenin Tennis $5.8m (£4.4m)
9 Angelique Kerber Tennis $5.3m (£4m)
10 Alex Morgan Football $4.6m (£3.5m)
*Between June 2019 and June 2020, according to Forbes