Tennis Stars Occupies Top Nine Spots In Forbes List Of Highest-Paid Female Athletes - UBITENNIS
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Tennis Stars Occupies Top Nine Spots In Forbes List Of Highest-Paid Female Athletes

Over a 12-month period no other sport had a female athlete make at least $5M in earnings apart from tennis.

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The significance of the WTA Tour has been brought into the limelight after an analysis declared it the highest paying women’s sport for their top athletes.

Forbes annual list of highest-paid female athletes in 2020 showed that nine female athletes made over $5 million in earnings with all of those belonging to tennis. The earnings were calculated based on prize money, salaries, bonuses, appearance fees and endorsements between June 1, 2019, and June 1, 2020. Incredibly the latest list isn’t the most dominant performance by tennis players. 12 months ago all top 10 positions were occupied by a WTA player. The only difference in 2020 is that footballer Alex Morgan has risen from 12th to 10th position.

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka tops the list with total earnings of $37.4M with almost 90% ($34M) of her earnings being down solely to endorsements. According to Forbes the high earnings have been related to the Tokyo Olympics which has been delayed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Osaka is one of the faces of the Games which made her even more appealing to sponsors such as Nippon Airways and Nissan. According to the report, only Roger Federer has made more than the 22-year-old in endorsements.

Unsurprisingly, following Osaka closely behind in second place is Serena Williams, who boasted $36M in earnings with $32M coming from endorsements. Her portfolio include deals with the likes of Nike, Gatorade, Procter & Gamble and Beats. Furthermore, Williams is also an accomplished businesswoman with a series of businesses and investments she is linked to. Last September she debuted her S by Serena fashion line at New York Fashion week, which was watched by Vogue Editor-and-Chief Anna Wintour.

The disparity between the top two places on the list and third is threefold. Current world No.1 Ash Barty made the majority of her money by winning prize money. The Australian won $10.1M on the Tour besides her $3M in endorsements. Her biggest moneymaking day occurred at the WTA Finals where she exited the tournament with an absurd payment of $4.42M.

Making up the top five is Simona Halep ($10.9M) and Bianca Andreescu ($8.9M). Both of whom are current Grand Slam champions. Further down the list is a top 10 debut by Sofia Kenin, who won her maiden major title at the Australian Open in January. She is in eighth place with $5.8M in earnings.

The dominance of women’s tennis in earnings comes just 13 years after equal prize money was implemented at all Grand Slams with Wimbledon becoming the last to do so. This year’s earning potential has however been hampered by the COVID-19 with most tournaments in Asia being cancelled. A key learning area for the WTA with the 2019 China swing offering an estimated $30M in prize money.

Forbes’ list of highest paid tennis players

RankNamesEndorsementsPrize MoneyTotal
1Naomi Osaka$34M$3.4M$37.4M
2Serena Williams$32M$4M$36M
3Ash Barty$3M$10.1M$13.1M
4Simona Halep$4M$6.9M$10.9M
5Bianca Andreescu$4M$4.9M$8.9M
6Garbine Muguruza$4.5M$2.1M$6.6M
7Elina Svitolina $1M$5.4M$6.4M
8Sofia Kenin$1M$4.8M$5.8M
9Angelique Kerber$4M$1.3M$5.3M
Source – https://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2020/08/17/the-highest-paid-female-athletes-2020-center-court-takes-center-stage/#385487d85eb6

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Maria Sakkari Appoints Witt As Coach For American Swing

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Maria Sakkari - WTA Washington 2023 (foto Twitter @mubadalacitidc)

Maria Sakkari has enlisted the help of Jessica Pegula’s former long-time coach in a bid to regain her form on the Tour. 

Greek media has confirmed that the world No.9 has begun a partnership with David Witt, who has also previously coached Venus Williams. Witt had worked with Pegula since 2019 before the tennis star decided to end their collaboration earlier this year. During their time together he oversaw the American win two WTA 1000 events, reached the quarter-final of a grand Slam on six occasions and peaked at a ranking high of No.3. 

Sakkari’s appointment comes after she ended her six-year working relationship with Tom Hill. Highlights of their partnership include winning two Tour titles, reaching a Grand Slam semi-final twice and spending more than two years in the top 10. 

“Tom, thank you for all the emotions, the support on and off the court, and the belief you had in me since day one,” Sakkari wrote on Instagram last month. “We grew together, and you helped me realize that everything is possible.

“Not only did you make me a better tennis player, but you also made me a better person. Thank you for always wanting the best for me and for always having my back! Good luck on the next chapter in your career.”

Sakkari is looking to get back on track after what has been a disappointing start to 2024. She had won just two matches in her first four singles tournaments played and is yet to face an opponent ranked in the world’s top 20. However, she faired better at the United Cup, where she won three matches in the team event, including victories over Lelylah Fernandez and Angelique Kerber. 

It is understood that Sakkari will be working with Witt at both Indian Wells and Miami. If their partnership is successful, it could be extended further into the clay swing. The other members of her team will remain in the same roles. 

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Ugo Humbert saves three match points to beat Hubert Hurkacz in Dubai

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Fifth-seed Ugo Humbert came back from one set down to beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3. Humbert had beaten Hurkacz en route to his title in Marseille. 

Hurkacz converted his third break point in the fourth game to win the first set 6-3. Humbert saved three match points in the tie-break of the second set before converting his first set point to force the match to the decider. Humbert broke twice to seal the third set 6-3. 

“It was a great battle. I tried to battle for every point. In the tie-break I saved three match points, tried to do my best and thanks to those French fans for the amazing support”, said Humbert. 

Humbert set up a semifinal match against Danil Medvedev, who beats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-3. Humbert leads 2-1 in their head-to-head matches, but Medvedev won their most recent match in three sets at the China Open in their most recent head-to-head match in Beijing last year.

“It’s going to be a great challenge against Danil tomorrow. We had a few great fights. Hopefully I will recover well to be ready for this match”, said Humbert. 

Aleksander Bublik was leading Jiri Lehecka 6-4 4-1 when the Czech player was forced to retire due to an injury. Bublik set up a match against Andrey Rublev, who was leading Sebastian Korda 6-4 4-3  when the Czech player withdrew due to injury. 

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Brazilian Rising Star Joao Fonseca Waives College Eligibility To Turn Pro

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Image via https://twitter.com/RioOpenOficial/

One of Brazil’s most promising young tennis players has made the bold decision to abandon a dream of his to play college tennis in America to turn pro. 

17-year-old Jaoao Fonseca was committed to playing college tennis at the University of Virginia but says professional tennis has called him in a way he couldn’t refuse. The rising star has played just two Tour-level events so far in his career and is currently ranked 343rd in the world. 

At last week’s Rio Open, he became the second-youngest player after Alexander Zverev to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP 500 event since the category was introduced. In his home tournament, the Brazillian beat Arthur Fils and Cristian Garin before losing to Mariano Navone.

“It was an incredibly tough decision for me and my family as I have been dreaming about living a college life in Charlottesville, playing the sport that l love with a wonderful team and coach, but, in the last months, professional tennis called me in a way that I simply couldn’t say no,” Fonseca wrote in a statement published on Instagram
“Although I will not be attending school, I think it is an extremely valuable and viable path for young players in their way to professional careers,” he added.

Fonseca has already enjoyed success on the junior circuit. Last year he was runner-up in the doubles tournament at the Australian Open boy’s event. Then at the US Open, he won his first Grand Slam junior title in singles. He is also a former ITF Junior World No.1 and is currently ranked second in the standings. 

The youngster has already been hailed by compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is currently ranked 13th on the WTA Tour. Speaking to reporters at the San Diego Open, she has offered her support to Fonseca if he needs it. 

“João is a nice person. He has a great future, if he keeps working hard and keeps doing what he’s doing. I think he has a very aggressive mentality and tennis.” She said.

“We sometimes text each other, but not that much. But I’m always following.. not only him.. but the Brazilians. I’m proud of what he’s doing. He has a long way and he needs to understand that it’s a marathon, it’s not a 100 meter race.’
“Tennis has its ups and downs. I wish him all the best, for sure. I’ll be here whenever he wants. I’m happy with what he’s doing.” 

Fonseca played at the Chile Open this week but lost in the first round to Thiago Agustin Tirante.

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