"$16 million without lifting a finger";"So unserious" - Emma Raducanu and Naomi Osaka ranking among top 5 highest-paid female athletes stumps fans
Emma Raducanu might not have played much tennis in 2023 but her off-court exploits made her one of the year's top 5 highest-earning female athletes.
The 2021 US Open champion earned a total of $16.2 million this year, making her the 4th highest-paid women's athlete. She raked in $238,000 from match prize money and $16 million from endorsement and brand deals.
Naomi Osaka, who did not play any tennis in 2023, was at No. 5 with $15 million, all of which came from brand deals.
Reigning US Open winner Coco Gauff topped the list with $22.7 million. Iga Swiatek was second, earning $21.9 million. The top 10 on the list features seven tennis players. Aryna Sabalenka ($12.2 million), Elena Rybakina ($9.5 million), and Jessica Pegula ($9 million) were part of the list.
Tennis fans were stunned to see Emma Raducanu and Naomi Osaka feature on the list, let alone in the top 5. Many pointed out that the duo had played little to no tennis on the 2023 WTA tour and touted the gigantic stature of tennis in women's sport. Raducanu and Osaka were also in the top 5 of the highest-paid list in 2022.
Here are a few reactions from fans online:
"Raducanu and Osaka being on this list is so unserious. I feel bad for the athletes from fields other than tennis who had a great year and could only dream of such earnings."
"Raducanu must have an insane amount of endorsements. Kind of weird she's making more money than demigoddess Simone Biles or tennis champs like Sabalenka," another fan commented.
"That Raducanu number is fucking ridiculous. Has she won 16 matches since winning that slam?" a fan posted on X.
"Raducanu? What has she done in 2023? Perplexed...," another fan said.
Here are some more fan reactions to Emma Raducanu and Naomi Osaka being among the highest-paid female athletes in 2023:
Emma Raducanu and Naomi Osaka to make a comeback in January
Emma Raducanu last played on the WTA tour at the 2023 Stuttgart Open in April, where she lost to Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets in the opening round. The Brit was forced to withdraw from the Madrid Open due to a wrist injury. She has been out of action since then and has undergone surgeries on her wrist and ankle. The 21-year-old played only 10 matches in 2023, winning five of them.
Naomi Osaka missed the entire 2023 WTA tour due to pregnancy. She welcomed a baby girl with American rapper Cordae on July 7. The former World No. 1's last match on the tour came at the 2022 Toray Pan Pacific Open, where she withdrew from her second-round match against Beatriz Haddad Maia.
Osaka and Raducanu are set to come back to professional tennis in January 2024. Emma Raducanu has received a wildcard to enter the main draw at the WTA 250 ASB Classic, which will begin on January 1 in Auckland, New Zealand. The former World No. 10 has also signed up to play at the Australian Open via a protected ranking of No. 103.
Naomi Osaka will mark her return to the tour at the Australian Open, where she will feature in the main draw with the special ranking of No. 46. The Japanese star has won two out of her four Grand Slam titles in Melbourne. She lifted the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup in 2019 and 2021.