Jan 11, 2023
After a bruising 2022 when Serena Williams and Ashleigh Barty retired, the new Women’s Tennis Association season got off to the worst possible start when Naomi Osaka withdrew from the Australian Open.
The news fits with long-swirling rumours that Osaka has given up training and may never even play competitive tennis again. Worse still, it underlines the impression that the modern tour is too uncongenial a lifestyle for many leading women. As soon as they can afford to get off the carousel, they do.
Obviously Osaka does not need to play to earn a living. According to Forbes, she made $58 million (£47.5 million) in off-court earnings last year, putting her fourth behind only Roger Federer, LeBron James and Tiger Woods among the world’s top athletes. On the court, she made a fraction of that: just $1.2 million.
Rivalries at the top of women’s tennis – or a lack thereof – have been cited by some as contributing to the dwindling motivation players such as Osaka and Barty feel when they reach the world No 1 spot in their early twenties.
Source: Yahoo Sports