Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka could be the recipient of an $8.5million deal with brand Adidas, following her US Open win against Serena Williams. She took home $3.8million as a result of winning her first Grand Slam, but if the deal with Adidas is closed, she could become the female athlete with the highest endorsement with the brand. Alongside this, she could also ‘become the second highest-paid woman, above Caroline Wozniacki but one rung below Serena Williams’.
Osaka and Williams US Open final match has come under scrutiny following an altercation between Williams and umpire Carlos Ramos. Williams received a violation for coaching, another for destroying her racket and a final describing Ramos as a ‘thief’. The points lost due to these violations contributed to the result of the game. The incident has divided audiences and critics, with many claiming Williams’ behaviour was no different to that seen by male players and accusations of sexism have been levied at Ramos.
A cartoon by Mark Knight published by Australian paper ‘The Herald Sun’ also drew extensive criticism with its depiction of both Williams and Osaka. Many have argued that the image of both women is racist with Osaka shown in the background as a white, blonde woman. Illustrator Knight has defended his image, arguing that ‘the cartoon about Serena is about her poor behaviour on the day, not about race’.
The deal with Adidas would extend Osaka’s current contract with them, cementing her as one of the rising stars of the tennis world. At just twenty years old she is already proving her talent amongst the tennis greats.
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