Emma Raducanu has come in third on the list of highest-paid female athletes for 2022 despite a year of mixed results. The 19-year-old became an overnight superstar when she won the US Open as a qualifier in 2021 but has not been able to pick up a title since though still found herself pocketing more money than world No 1 Iga Swiatek, who won eight titles this year alone.
Raducanu became one of the biggest names in tennis when she made history in the sport as the first qualifier ever to win a Grand Slam title. Aged 18 at the time and ranked down at world No 150, the Brit was playing her fourth-ever professional tournament when she won the US Open without dropping a set and skyrocketed into the world’s top 25.
It meant that she suddenly found herself able to compete in every event on the WTA Tour, though the teenager has struggled at times during her first full year on the circuit and ended 2022 with a 17-19 win-loss record. Despite her difficulty adjusting to life on the tour, the world No 76 has still been named the third-highest-earning female athlete of the year.
Helped mostly by her endorsements, Raducanu came in third behind fellow players Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams in Sportico’s list of highest-earning female athletes with a total take-home of £22,690,117 ($26,200,000). Just £2.77m ($3.2m) of this has been from prize money, with the British No 1’s best result coming in the semi-finals of the recent Korea Open.
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A staggering £19.9m ($23m) of this has been from Raducanu’s endorsements, with the former world No 10 an ambassador for brands including Dior, Tiffany & Co., Porsche and British Airways. And her earnings this year eclipse that of the world No 1 tennis player Swiatek, who came in seventh on the list.
The Pole pocketed £7m ($8.1m) overall for the year, with the vast majority – £4.8m ($5.6m) – coming from her winnings after picking up eight titles, including two Grand Slams at the French Open and the US Open. Swiatek earned just £2.17m ($2.5m) in endorsements despite being sponsored by the likes of Red Bull and Rolex.
And the two women who earned more than Raducanu also got the majority of their money from sponsorships. Osaka came in as the highest-earning female athlete of the year despite playing just 23 matches this season and winning 14 of them.
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The four-time Major winner may have only earned £1m ($1.2m) for her tennis this year but it was her endorsements that put her far above the rest of the pack, with the 25-year-old earning £45m ($52m) for her off-court endeavours which include launching her own talent agency Evolve, which signed Nick Kyrgios, and high-profile deals with the likes of Nike, Levi’s and Louis Vuitton.
Meanwhile Serena Williams earned just £260,000 ($300,000) from tennis this year as she made her comeback on the grass before retiring at the US Open, but came in second to Osaka thanks to £30m ($35m) worth of endorsements.