Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams Top 2020 Forbes Highest-Paid Female Athletes List

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2020

Serena Williams watches as Naomi Osaka, of Japan, holds the champions trophy in the women's final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Tennis stars Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams were once again the highest-paid female athletes in the world for 2020. 

According to Forbes, no female athlete has earned more than Osaka over the past year. She has made $37.4 million, with $34 million of that coming through endorsements. Serena is second to Osaka with $36 million in earnings, including $32 million in endorsements.

Williams was No. 1 on last year's list with Osaka trailing behind at No. 2, but the 22-year-old who holds dual citizenship in the United States and Japan has now surpassed one of her idols.

Of the 10 female athletes who made this year's list, each of the top nine are tennis players.

Here is a rundown of the remainder of the list after Osaka and Williams, courtesy of Forbes:

3. Ashleigh Barty, Tennis, $13.1 million

4. Simona Halep, Tennis, $10.9 million

5. Bianca Andreescu, Tennis, $8.9 million

6. Garbine Muguruza, Tennis, $6.6 million

7. Elina Svitolina, Tennis, $6.4 million

8. Sofia Kenin, Tennis, $5.8 million

9. Angelique Kerber, Tennis, $5.3 million

10. Alex Morgan, Soccer, $4.6 million

It comes as little surprise that each of the past five women to win a Grand Slam title in tennis are on the list in the form of Halep, Osaka, Barty, Andreescu and Kenin. Also, Williams has four runner-up finishes since 2018.

Kerber, Halep, Svitolina and Muguruza were all in the top 10 of last year's list, while Sloane Stephens, Carolina Wozniacki (retired), Maria Sharapova (retired), Karolina Pliskova and Venus Williams dropped out.

Just like this year, Morgan was the first non-tennis player on last year's list in 12th with $5.8 million in earnings. Although her earnings are down for 2020, she actually moved up two spots on the list.

Morgan earned $400,000 in salary over the past year, but her endorsement deals, including one with Nike, netted her $4.2 million. Although she gave birth in May and has been out of action, Morgan has remained financially strong thanks to her endorsements.

The WTA has been impacted significantly by the coronavirus pandemic this year with many tournaments being canceled or postponed, but the Forbes list proves that no sport provides women with more earning potential than tennis.