Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams, Venus Lead the Highest-Earning Female Athletes of 2021

Published 01/14/2022, 10:30 AM EST
Tennis – A Day at the Drive Exhibition – Memorial Drive Tennis Club, Adelaide, Australia – January 29, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka with Serena Williams of the U.S. at A Day at The Drive REUTERS/Morgan Sette


Women’s sports rarely get the limelight that they deserve. However, that has been changing gradually; stars like Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, and others, are more popular than any of their male competitors. Alongside being popular, they earn a pretty hefty amount of money as well. 

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Tennis is also one of the few sports where the women’s game gets as much recognition and spotlight as the men’s. Players like Osaka, the Williams Sisters, and others have huge groups of supporters across the world. However, some players from different sports are also getting recognition gradually. 

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 29: Naomi Osaka of Japan
and Serena Williams of the USA leave the court after their match during the ‘A Day at the Drive’ exhibition tournament at Memorial Drive on January 29, 2021 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams top the highest earners’ list

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Among the women athletes around the world, 4-time Grand Slam Champion Naomi Osaka tops the list of the highest earners in 2021. According to Forbes, the Japanese player earned around 57.3 million dollars in 2021. She earned around $2.3 million from her on-court performances, but earned a staggering $55 million from endorsements and brand deals.   

Meanwhile, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams is the second-highest earner amongst the women athletes. She didn’t earn a lot from her on-court performances because of her absence from the tour forced by injuries. She only got $0.9 million from tennis but earned about $45 million from her various off-court deals. 

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Demi Singleton, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Saniyya Sidney attend the 2021 AFI Fest Closing Night Premiere screening for “King Richard” at TCL Chinese theatre in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 14, 2021. REUTERS/Ringo Chiu

Her older sister, Venus Williams, is the third-highest earner on the list, but she’s far behind the top two spots. She earned $11.3 million in 2021 and most of her income came from her endorsements. 

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However, the surprising name on the list is Simone Biles, who earned around $10.1 million in 2021. The American gymnast earned most of her money from various brand deals as well. 

TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 27: Simone Biles of Team United States smiles during the Women’s Team Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 27, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Spain’s no.1 tennis star, Garbine Muguruza, is the highest earner among the tennis players in terms of her on-court performance and the fifth highest overall. She earned around $2.6 million from tennis and $6 million from various deals. 

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Debkinkar Maity

60 articles

Debkinkar Maity is a Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. His desire to become a sports journalist inspired him to take up a degree in journalism and mass communication, and he hasn't looked back ever since. Following the sport for over a decade now, Debkinkar has an ardent love for Roger Federer.

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