Naomi Osaka spent the last year signing up one sponsorship deal after another. The results are now in. According to Sportico, she made $55 million last year, making her the highest-earning female athlete in the world. Of the $55 million, $50 million came from endorsement and $5 million from her tournament prize money.
2021 Highest-Paid Tennis Players
There are six tennis players on the Top-100 money list.
Roger Federer – Highest Earning Tennis Athlete
Roger Federer was the highest-earning tennis player. He earned $84 million last year with all his money coming from sponsorship earnings. Federer didn’t play much last year due to surgeries and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Interestingly, Naomi Osaka made $22 million more than Novak Djokovic. Djokovic has always had difficulties attracting sponsors whereas Osaka checks all the boxes for sponsors.
Naomi Osaka – Global Marketer’s Dream Athlete
Osaka is black, raised in the United States, and has Japanese nationality. That makes her marketable globally. Osaka gave up her US citizenship to represent Japan. That was a shrewd move that paid off as she has a number of Japanese sponsors as well as global sponsors.
Kei Nishikori – Punching Above His Weight Class
Other tennis players in the Top 100 Highest-Paid athletes list are Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori. Both earned $27 million. Like Osaka, Nishikori’s Japanese nationality helps him earn lucrative sponsorship deals even though he has never won a grand slam.