Naomi Osaka has officially become the highest-paid female athlete at 22-years-old, as Forbes reports. The 22-year-old earned $37.4 million in the past year from prize money and endorsements, which is $1.4 million more than Serena Williams made. The record was previously held by Maria Sharapova, in 2015, when she earned $29.7 million.
According to Forbes, this is the first time since 2016 that two women have made the rank of the 100 highest-paid athletes. Osaka beat Williams in September 2018 in the U.S. Open women’s final where Williams received three code violations. Williams infamously refuted chair umpire Carlos Ramos’ calls, which lead to a tearful victory for Osaka.
“It feels really emotional,” Williams said. “I feel happy and sad at the same time and I think this is the most I’ve ever cried.” Williams hugged Naomi Osaka and sent her the following text:
“Hey, Naomi! It’s Serena Williams. As I said on the court, I am so proud of you and I am truly sorry. I thought I was doing the right thing in sticking up for myself. But I had no idea the media would pit us against each other. I would love the chance to live that moment over again. I am, was, and will always be happy for you and supportive of you. I would never, ever want the light to shine away from another female, specifically another black female athlete. I can’t wait for your future, and believe me I will always be watching as a big fan! I wish you only success today and in the future. Once again, I am so proud of you. All my love and your fan, Serena.”