World's highest-paid female athlete

Osaka becomes world's highest-earning female athlete

The 22-year-old twice Grand Slam champion's total is the most ever earned by a female athlete in a 12-month period.

She earned $1.4 million more than American great Williams, who topped the list for the last four years.

Maria Sharapova had held the record for 12-month earnings for a female athlete, having made US $29.7 million in 2015.

Female tennis players have always occupied top spot on Forbes' women's list since 1990, with either Williams or Russian Sharapova leading the way from 2004.