Raducanu and Osaka are among the top 5 female athletes with most Twitter followers in 2021
Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu both feature on the list of female athletes who gained the highest number of Twitter followers this year.
American gymnast Simone Biles occupies top spot on the list after gaining 635,000 new followers in 2021. Hot on her heels is Raducanu, who currently has around 620,000 followers, 613,000 of whom were acquired over the past year.
Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson occupies third spot after gaining around 485,000 new followers, while Brazilian skateboarder Rayssa Leal is fourth with 473,000 new followers. Osaka rounds off the top five with 396,000 new followers on Twitter.
Raducanu’s surge in popularity is attributed to her exploits at the US Open. The 19-year-old came through qualifying and won the tournament without dropping a single set.
As a result, Raducanu witnessed a 13480% increment in her Twitter following this past year.
The Brit, who won the WTA Newcomer of the Year award along with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, also gained more Instagram followers in 2021 than Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
The 19-year-old also signed endorsement deals with Nike, British Airways, British Airways, Evian Water, Dior and Tiffany & Co.
Osaka, meanwhile, won her fourth Grand Slam title at the Australian Open this year. She couldn’t build on that triumph as she battled mental health issues over the rest of the season. She eventually took a hiatus from tennis after her third-round defeat at Flushing Meadows.
However, the Japanese remained in the limelight for speaking out on mental health issues, paving the way for other athletes, including Biles, to open up about their own problems.
Osaka witnessed a 51% growth in her Twitter following, taking her total number of followers to 1.2 million.
Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu to kick off 2022 season in Melbourne
Osaka starts off 2022 in Melbourne
Emma Raducanu was scheduled to play Belinda Bencic at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship earlier this month but was forced to pull out of the event after testing positive for COVID-19.
The 19-year-old is on the entry list of the Melbourne Summer Set and is seeded fourth. Raducanu will also compete at the Sydney Tennis Classic before making her Australian Open debut.
Osaka, meanwhile, is the second seed at the Melbourne Summer Set. The 24-year-old will then head to the Australian Open, where she is the defending champion.