Naomi Osaka topped the Forbes list of highest-paid female athletes for the year 2020. The Japanese tennis star earned $3.4 million in prize money including $34 million from endorsements made a way to reach the No.1 position in Forbes. She had broken the 2015 earnings record of Maria Sharapova.
World No.1 Ashleigh Barty secured the third place in the Forbes list. She won $10.1 million prize money which is the highest prize money earned by a player. Barty’s total earning of $13.1 million is behind the Serena Williams total earning of $36 million.
American Tennis Champion Serena bagged the second place in the Forbes list with $32 million from endorsement and $4 million in prize money. The endorsement deals are generating more revenue for the players than the prize money.
An interesting fact that the Top 10 Forbes list features nine of the tennis players alone from No.1 to 9. It is evident that tennis players are earning more than other sports players.
Additionally, American soccer player Alex Morgan is the only exception in the Forbes list who is outside of the tennis. The co-captain of the U.S. women’s national soccer team and part of the Orlando Pride team reached the No. 10 position in Forbes with $4.6 million including $4.2 million from endorsement alone.
Besides, Women were getting lower pay than men in tennis before the 1970s. Casals and Billie Jean King had protested half-century ago against the pay difference between male and female prize money. Casals and her doubles companion Billie Jean King had been barred from tennis tournament by the USLTA.
THE WTA STORY
In September 1970, Billie Jean King and the other eight players gave birth to women’s professional tennis. They signed $1 contracts with World Tennis publisher Gladys Heldman to compete in a new women’s tour called the Virginia Slims Series.
The Original nine players are Billie Jean King, Rosie Casals, Nancy Richey, Kerry Melville, Peaches Bartkowicz, Kristy Pigeon, Judy Dalton, Valerie Ziegenfuss, and Julie Heldman. The Virginia Slims Tour later became the WTA.
Moreover, Casals remembered the historic event who will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the tour’s first event next month and said “We knew what we were doing was very important, but in some ways, we didn’t have anything to lose”. She added further “I’m proud to see where women’s tennis is 50 years later and to know that we were instrumental in the success of the game today.”
Forbes Top 10 Highest-Paid Female Athletes 2020
1. Naomi Osaka Total Earnings: $37.4 million
2. Serena Williams Total Earnings: $37.4 million
3. Ashleigh Barty Total Earnings: $13.1 million
4. Simona Halep Total Earnings: $10.9 million
5. Bianca Andreescu Total Earnings: $8.9 million
6. Garbiñe Muguruza Total Earnings: $6.6 million
7. Elina Svitolina Total Earnings: $6.4 million
8. Sofia Kenin Total Earnings: $5.8 million
9. Angelique Kerber Total Earnings: $5.3 million
10. Alex Morgan Total Earnings: $4.6 million