Nine of the top 10 names on Forbes' annual sportswomen rich list are tennis players, with the rankings headed up by Naomi Osaka.

It was confirmed in May that Japanese star Osaka had usurped Serena Williams as the world's highest-earning female athlete.

Both Osaka and Serena's earnings, made up of prize money, bonuses, appearance fees and endorsements, beat the previous record held by Maria Sharapova from 2015.

Those two stars of the women's game were the only two females on the overall top 100 sportspeople list, placing at 29th and 33rd respectively.

Osaka collected an astonishing $37.4million, of which the vast majority - $34m - was made up from endorsements. When including male players too, only Roger Federer made more in that category.

Serena's best year to date saw her pick up $36m, while there is a big gap to Ash Barty ($13.1m) in third.

Unlike the top two, the majority of Barty's earnings came from on-court prize money, from which she earned $10.1m, a total boosted by the record $4.4m she took home for winning the lucrative WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

Major winners Simona Halep ($10.9m), Bianca Andreescu ($8.9m) are next, with Garbine Muguruza ($6.6m), Elina Svitolina ($6.4m) also faring well.

Australian Open glory boosted Sofia Kenin into eighth spot with earnings of $5.8m, while Angelique Kerber came in at $5.3m despite a decline in her results.

The only non-tennis player in the top 10 was United States soccer star Alex Morgan. Of the $4.6m she earned, endorsements represented 10 times the value of her playing salary. 

Her team-mate Megan Rapinoe ($4.2m) came in narrowly behind after seeing her profile surge, leading to a host of sponsorships and speaking fees.

Forbes analysed the period between June 1, 2019, and June 1, 2020, meaning the coronavirus pandemic only had a "marginal" impact, with a far greater effect expected to be seen in next year's figures.

Simona Halep will not play the US Open, the world number two confirmed on Monday.

The Romanian played her first tournament since the WTA Tour resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic last week, winning the title at the Prague Open by beating Elise Mertens in Sunday's final.

Halep stated after that match she would provide an update on her status for Flushing Meadows on Monday, with the world number two opting to continue training in Europe rather than travelling to New York.

"After weighing up all the factors involved and with the exceptional circumstances in which we are living, I have decided that I will not travel to New York to play the @usopen," the two-time grand slam winner posted on Twitter.

"I always said I would put my health at the heart of my decision and I therefore prefer to stay and train in Europe.

"I know the @usta and @WTA have worked tirelessly to put on a safe event and I wish everyone there a successful tournament."

Halep's decision means only four of the present top 10 remain in the draw for the women's singles.

Karolina Pliskova, Sofia Kenin, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka are all involved, but top-ranked Ashleigh Barty, defending champion Bianca Andreescu, Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens and Belinda Bencic have all pulled out.

On the men's side, Rafael Nadal – who beat Daniil Medvedev in the 2019 final – had already confirmed he will not play in New York, though Novak Djokovic announced his intention to feature.

The US Open main draw begins on August 31.

Jennifer Brady has won her first ever WTA Tour title after she emerged 6-3 6-4 victor over Jil Teichmann in the Top Seed Open final on Sunday.

Both players came into the match having not dropped a single set en route to the final in Lexington, but something had to give and Brady ultimately came out on top on home soil.

A decisive spell in the first set saw Brady save four break points to go 4-3 up before overpowering Teichmann in the following game to take charge.

She then held her nerve – just about – to see out the set, but she expressed frustration at her own serving as two significant errors from Teichmann let Brady off the hook and go a set up.

Brady broke Teichmann's serve in the very first game of second set and that proved crucial, with the rest of the match going with service.

Teichmann had her chances, particularly with the score 4-3 in the second, but Brady's effectiveness on her second serve proved valuable as she fought on to clinch her maiden WTA Tour title.

Simona Halep made it back-to-back titles with a straight-sets win over Elise Mertens in the Prague Open final. 

The world number two, who won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in February before the WTA Tour's suspension for the coronavirus pandemic, sealed a 6-2 7-5 victory on Sunday. 

A very different story looked set to unfold after Mertens won the first two games, but Halep clicked into top gear to reel off six on the bounce and take the set. 

When Halep continued her streak by breaking in the first game of the second set, the writing appeared to be on the wall for Mertens. 

But the Belgian, chasing a sixth singles title, hit back immediately to keep her hopes alive. 

Ultimately, however, the class of two-time grand slam winner Halep told and the Romanian will soon have to confirm whether she will seek to cash in on this form by competing at the US Open, which has suffered from a spate of withdrawals over COVID-19 fears.

Shelby Rogers was unable to build on her shock win over Serena Williams as she was beaten in the Top Seed Open semi-finals by Jil Teichmann, who will face Jennifer Brady in Sunday's showpiece after she defeated Cori Gauff.

Rogers produced an impressive shock in Friday's quarter-finals when beating 23-time grand slam champion Williams in a dramatic third-set tie-breaker in Lexington, but she came unstuck against Teichmann.

The 23-year-old was a dominant victor as well, seeing off Rogers 6-3 6-2, as she continued her impressive run of not dropping a set all week.

Teichmann, who is also involved with the doubles, has no special secret to her form, but is grateful to have found a groove.

"I don't have an answer for why I don't lose any sets," she said. "I just feel very good. I'm playing very consistent. I feel great on court. I guess that's the main reason."

Brady has enjoyed a similarly emphatic run to the final - this match saw her lose four matches in a single set for the first time in Lexington, as she saw off teen sensation Gauff 6-2 6-4 on Saturday.

Gauff lost three games on her serve in the first set and, although she improved in the second, Brady's break in the third game proved crucial as she reached a second career final.

 

Simona Halep ended Irina-Camelia Begu's marathon week with a straight-sets triumph in Saturday's Prague Open semi-final.

World number two Halep claimed a 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 victory in the Czech capital and has the chance to extend her winning streak to nine matches having won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in February before the WTA Tour's suspension for the coronavirus pandemic.

Begu deserves immense credit, though, having spent seven hours on court over her first three matches and having to conclude a three-set quarter-final triumph over Sara Sorribes Tormo earlier in the day with rain having delayed the match.

"I didn't play my best tennis but also she was tired, so in my opinion, it was a good match," Halep said in her on-court interview.

"I'm really happy that I could win it. It's always tough to play against her. She's a great player."

Awaiting in Sunday's final is third seed Elise Mertens, who defeated former finalist Kristyna Pliskova 7-5 7-6 (7-4) in the day's earlier last-four contest.

Serena Williams crashed out of the Top Seed Open, the former world number one surprisingly beaten by Shelby Rogers in the quarter-finals.

Williams – the top seed and 23-time grand slam champion – was ousted 1-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5) by fellow American Rogers in Lexington on Friday.

Stepping up her preparation ahead of this month's US Open in New York, Williams overcame sister Venus in the last 16 on Thursday but the 38-year-old star was unable continue her run at the WTA International event.

Rogers – in her first meeting against Serena Williams – rallied from a set down in the all-American affair to earn a semi-final showdown with Jil Teichmann, who accounted for Cici Bellis 6-2 6-4.

"It was important for me going onto the court thinking I could win that match, and knowing I could take care of my service games," Rogers said. "Because [Williams] has probably the best serve of all time, and when she wants to, she can win a point on her serve."

Teenage sensation Coco Gauff, meanwhile, fought back from a set and a break down to top eighth seed Ons Jabeur 4-6 6-4 6-1.

Gauff trailed 6-4 4-2 but the 16-year-old American completed a thrilling comeback to reach her second WTA semi-final.

Awaiting Gauff in the final four is countrywoman Jennifer Brady, who eased past Marie Bouzkova 6-1 6-2.

Simona Halep breezed into the semi-finals of the Prague Open with an emphatic defeat of Magdalena Frech on Friday.

Top seed Halep, playing her first tournament since the resumption of the season, took less than an hour to wrap up a crushing 6-2 6-0 victory.

The two-time grand slam champion came through three-set contests with Polona Hercog and Barbora Krejcikova en route to the last eight, but had no such trouble in a one-sided quarter-final.

Halep broke three times in each set as lucky loser Frech, playing her sixth match of the week, was blown away by the Wimbledon champion.

The world number two, yet to confirm if she will play in the upcoming US Open, said: "The whole game was better today.

"I'm happy that I can play better and better day by day. It was a good one and I'll take it."

Halep will either face fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu or Sara Sorribes Tormo for a place in the final, with the latter having taken the first set of their quarter-final before play was suspended due to rain.

Third seed Elise Mertens earlier overcame wildcard Eugenie Bouchard 6-4 1-6 6-4 and will take on Kristyna Pliskova, who advanced when Ana Bogdan retired due to injury when leading 5-2 in the first set.

Shelby Rogers will face 23-time grand slam champion Serena Williams in the quarter-finals of the Top Seed Open after seeing off Leylah Fernandez.

American Rogers was too good for Fernandez, winning 6-2 7-5 at the WTA International event in Lexington on Thursday.

After cruising in the opening set, Rogers trailed 5-2 in the second before reeling off five straight games to trump the emerging Canadian teenager.

Awaiting Rogers in the last eight is countrywoman and former world number one Serena Williams, who outlasted sister Venus earlier in the day.

Serena rallied from a set down to defeat Venus 3-6 6-3 6-4 in the 31st instalment of a rivalry dating back 22 years.

Down 4-2 in the deciding set, the 38-year-old Serena fought back to vanquish Venus after two hours, 19 minutes on Center Court.

Elsewhere, Jil Teichmann stunned fifth seed Yulia Putintseva 6-2 6-2 and next meets Cici Bellis – who accounted for Jessica Pegula 6-3 6-2.

A "super relaxed" Serena Williams plans to just "see what happens" at the Top Seed Open after beating her sister Venus to reach the quarter-finals 

Serena came from a set down to defeat her older sibling 3-6 6-3 6-4 in a tight contest in Lexington, Kentucky on Thursday.

The 23-time grand slam singles champion has been taken the distance in back-to-back matches this week in her first WTA Tour event since the season resumed following a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Serena said she has no expectations of winning the tournament a fortnight before the US Open gets under way behind closed doors at Flushing Meadows.

The 38-year-old American said: "I honestly didn't come here to win for the first time in my career. I just came here to get some matches and see what happens.

"I haven't had this much time off since the baby [her daughter Olympia]. Now I'm just trying to get some rhythm and see what happens to be honest."

Serena came from 4-2 down in the final set to book a meeting with Shelby Rogers or Leylah Fernandez and the former world number one had high praise for her 40-year-old sister Venus after coming out on top for a 19th time in their 31 meetings.

"She played unbelievable," the top seed said. "Honestly, I don't know how I was able to pull it out in the end."

Serena added: "I just really tried to focus on those last two games. I am super relaxed. There's no crowd, so it kind of makes it super relaxing. And I have been practicing in a lot hotter conditions than today."

Victory for Serena came after Bianca Andreescu, her conqueror in the US Open final last year, revealed she is not ready to make her comeback in New York.

The 20-year-old Canadian has not been in competitive action since October after suffering a knee injury and said the COVID-19 crisis left her short of preparation to ensure she could fire on all cylinders at the US Open.

Serena Williams fought back from a set down to defeat sister Venus on Thursday and advance through to the quarter-finals of the Top Seed Open.

In the 31st instalment of a rivalry going back 22 years between the legendary siblings, it was tournament favourite Serena who prevailed 3-6 6-3 6-4 in Kentucky.

Serena trailed by two games in the deciding set but hit back to win a high-quality contest and set up a meeting with either Shelby Rogers or Leylah Fernandez in the next round.

Both players are this week competing for the first time since the WTA Tour season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, and it was Venus who started the quicker.

Serena charged into a 2-0 lead in the opening set but her older sibling won five games on the bounce to take control.

There were too many errors from Serena, and Venus made her pay, winning the first set point she manufactured courtesy of a powerful serve that the favourite could not return.

Serena, who has now won 10 of their past 12 completed encounters dating back to 2009, responded well in the second and went a break up at 4-2 before seeing out the set to level up.

After a 10-minute break in accordance with the heat rule, Serena drew first blood in the deciding set by breaking her opponent with a cross-court forehand in the third game.

Venus instantly hit back by breaking in the following game and opened up a 4-2 advantage when converting with a forehand winner in the sixth.

However, the older Williams - without a win this season - was unable to pull clear and lost two of the next three games, with Serena making the most of a double-fault to lead 5-4.

The final game went with the serve, despite the 23-time Grand Slam winner falling 30-15 behind, as Venus misfired off the forehand down the middle to settle a tight tussle.

Defending champion Bianca Andreescu became the latest high-profile player to opt out of the US Open on Thursday.

Andreescu has not played on the WTA Tour since October due to knee trouble and the 20-year-old says a lack of match practice, partly due to the coronavirus pandemic, means she is not ready to return in New York.

The Canadian's withdrawal comes after Rafael Nadal, the 2019 men's singles champion, pulled out due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Andreescu posted on social media: "After many discussions with those closest to me, I have made the difficult decision not to return to New York this year.

"I have taken this step in order to focus on my match fitness and ensure that I return ready to play at my highest level.

"The US Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there.

"However, I realise that the unforeseen challenges, including the COVID pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level.

"I want to express my appreciation to the USTA and the WTA for all of their efforts in making the event happen. I look forward to joining my competitors back on court soon."

Simona Halep had to produce a significant fightback to prevent a shock defeat to Barbora Krejcikova in the second round of the Prague Open on Thursday.

Neither player was particularly convincing in the early stages, with each of the first four games going against serve, but it was Krejcikova who settled quicker to take the first set 6-3.

She then brought the second set back to 5-5 after being 5-2 down, but Halep managed to see it out to level the match, before going on to seal the 3-6 7-5 6-2 win in the decider.

Top-seed Halep will face Poland's Magdalena Frech – ranked 174 in the world – in the quarter-finals after she saw off Arantxa Rus 6-3 2-6 6-4.

The day began with what turned out to be a gruelling encounter between Eugenie Bouchard and Tamara Zidansek, but the Canadian – who is attempting to climb back up the rankings after slipping to 330 – prevailed to reach her second WTA quarter-final of the year, winning 7-6 (7-2) 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 in two hours, 56 minutes.

Sara Sorribes Tormo had no such difficulty against Laura Siegemund as she emerged 6-2 6-3 victor, but she will have to wait until Friday to find out her next opponent after Irina-Camelia's meeting with Leonie Kung was suspended due to poor light.

Kung had just won the first set 7-6 (7-3).

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.