Naomi Osaka Leaves IMG to Launch Sports Agency Called EVOLVE

Sportico’s Kurt Badenhausen reports that Naomi Osaka and her agent Stuart Duguid have left IMG to launch a new sports agency called EVOLVE.

Osaka is the highest-earning female athlete and the 20th highest-paid athlete globally, making $53.2 million. She’s made $1.2 million in salary and winnings and another $52 million through endorsements. The only athletes with more money in endorsements are LeBron James, Rodger Federer, Tiger Woods, and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Osaka said of the agency, “I’ve spent my career doing things my way, even when people told me that it wasn’t what was expected or traditional. Evolve is the natural next step in my journey as both an athlete and businesswoman.”

After beating Serena Williams to take the 2018 U.S. Open title, Osaka became a household name. She was the first Japanese tennis player to win a Grand Slam singles event and later became the first Asian player to be number one on the WTA rankings.

Over at FanDuel Sportsbook, third-ranked Paula Badosa is -460 against Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the last women’s singles match of the day at the WTA Rome.