Nikoloz Basilashvili’s Family Pushes Back Against Assault Allegations

Georgian tennis player  Nikoloz Basilashvili was charged with physically assaulting his ex-wife.  Reports suggested that Basilashvili’s father has also been arrested related to the incident.  A court date has been set for July 16th.

Basilashvili was charged with committing “violence against a family member committed in the presence of a minor”.  He was released on bail amounting to $30,000 (27,500 euros).  He faces up to three years behind bars or 400 hours of community service if he is found guilty of the charges.

Basilashvili married his ex-wife Neka in 2013. The pair divorced in 2015 and have a five-year-old son Lucas.

Basilashvili is currently ranked 27th in the world.  He has won 3 ATP titles in his career and reached a career-high ranking of 16 in 2019. 

Basilashvili’s family released a statement denying the allegations.  The statement said, “We say with full responsibility that information about abuse isn’t true and there’s no evidence to support this fact”.

Basilashvili is the highest-ranked player in Georgia’s history.  The Georgian Tennis Federation released a statement that said, ” ‘First of all, we would like to state that Georgian Tennis Federation has always condemned any form of violence.”

‘The incident involving Nikoloz Basilashvili is currently under police investigation and GFT will refrain from either announcing its position on the matter or making any comments until such investigation is completed.’

The tennis season remains suspended due to Covid-19.  It is not clear when tournaments would resume.  But the lockdown in many countries has put a lot of stress on players.  A few ATP players such as Nick Kyrgios and Alexander Zverev have broken up with their girlfriends. 

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Naomi Osaka Dethrones Serena Williams To Become Highest-Paid Female Athlete

Naomi Osaka has become the highest-paid female athlete ever.  According to Forbes, she will make $37.4 million in 2020.

Not only is that historic, but she has also dethroned Serena Williams on the money charts.  Serena Williams was the highest-paid athlete for the last four years.

Osaka, who is only 22 is likely to be one of the highest-paid athletes for many years.  With Maria Sharapova retired and Serena Williams approaching retirement, it’s Brand Osaka’s turn.

To be honest, it’s not surprising. Osaka, who now represents Japan after giving up her US citizenship in 2019, is a star in Japan. Japan is a developed economy with many companies willing to sponsor top athletes.


With the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, Japanese stars such as Kei Nishikori and Naomi Osaka are in high demand as brands are interested in signing them to represent their brands on the world stage.

Osaka is represented by powerhouse IMG.  IMG also represents Maria Sharapova, Kei Nishikori, and Serena Williams. 

Osaka’s Sponsors List

Osaka has sponsorship deals with Japanese brands as well as global brands such as Nike.  When her previous shoe and apparel deal with Under Armor came up for renewal,  Nike had stiff competition with Under Armor and Japanese fast retailer Uniqlo before prevailing.

In an unusual move for Nike, Osaka was allowed to wear patches of other brands on her clothing.  I am sure that was part of the concession Nike had to make to sign up Osaka.

Osaka’s sponsors include:

  • Nike
  • Nissin
  • Nissan
  • Citizen
  • Yonex
  • ANA (All Nippon Airways)
  • Shiseido
  • Mastercard

Serena Dethroned, Not For The First Time

Serena Williams has won more grand slam titles than Osaka.  But Serena has had difficulty converting her on-court accomplishments into lucrative sponsorship deals to keep the top spot.

Between 2011 and 2015, Maria Sharapova earned more than Serena with fewer grand slam titles.  This goes to show that winning major titles alone does not guarantee the top spot on tennis’ money list.

Osaka is Humble and Likeable

Osaka is very shy. and often gives short answers to interview questions.  She has talked about how she is lost for words when she meets someone for the first time.  But she has grown immensely as a person and is well-liked on the tour.

Sponsors like her ability to connect with young fans.  Osaka is active on Instagram and Twitter and engages with fans frequently. 

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