how Osaka surpassed millions that even Neymar won off the field to be the highest paid tennis player in the world

Naomi Osaka would be one of the attractions this Wednesday at the US Open, which you watch live on ESPN on Star+ – sign and have access to all tournament courts here. She would face Olga Danilovic in the second round, but her rival withdrew for medical reasons. In addition to number 3 in the world, the Japanese is now the best athlete for the women’s circuit.

According to Forbes magazine, last year, Osaka had revenues of US$ 60.1 million (R$ 310.1 million at the current price), only behind Roger Federer (US$ 90.6 million, R$ 467.5 million) among the highest paid names in the sport.

Among women, she surpassed the North American Serena Williams and her income of US$ 41.8 million (R$ 215.7 million) in the last 12 months. He also left behind the world number 1 among men, the Serbian Novak Djokovic, who had earnings of US$ 38 million (R$ 196 million).

The number 3 in the WTA rankings made most of that money off the court. It is a common cut for all these tennis players who appeared among the highest paid in the world, thanks to strong sponsorship contracts.

Of Osaka’s total revenue, US$ 55 million (almost R$ 284 million) came from commercial revenues, while “only” US$ 5.1 million (R$ 26.3 million) was earned on court. Neymar, who was the sixth highest paid athlete in the world, according to Forbes, made US$ 95 million last year (R$ 490 million), but he couldn’t make as much money with advertising as the Japanese: US$ 19 million (R$ 98 million).

In tennis, there is an important specificity: players do not have salaries, like football athletes, NBA or NFL. Virtually all your earnings come independently, or through prizes paid by tournaments or advertising and sponsorship contracts.

To support less renowned tennis players, the US Open even adapted its awards in 2021, reduced the check given to single bracket champions by 17% compared to last year to increase the amount to be paid to eliminated tennis players in the first and second rounds.

But, returning to Osaka, the tennis player did not have exactly a year to be remembered on the court. She dropped out of Roland Garros and didn’t play Wimbledon to focus on her mental health. A stance that firmly established its position and also gained support from its main commercial partner, Nike.

Its sponsor list, however, includes more than 20 brands, with Panasonic being the newest partner.

At the Tokyo Olympics, the 23-year-old tennis player was even eliminated early, falling in the third round, but was one of the main names used by the organization for the promotions carried out for the event. Osaka even became a model for a version of the Barbie doll, which quickly sold out after sales opened.

At the US Open, Osaka debuted with a victory over the Czech Marie Bouzkova, in straight sets, with partials of 6-4 and 6-1. Directly qualifying for the second round after Danilovic’s withdrawal, she now awaits Estonian Kaia Kanepi or Canadian Leylah Annie Fernandez