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5 X BEST PAID ATHLETES IN THE WORLD

In a world where people talk about gender inequality and gender bias, where women earn less than men, there is one sport where the gap is virtually non-existent: tennis. The highest paid female athletes are all five tennis players. While Serena Williams was the highest-paid athlete for quite some time, she is now making way for 22-year-old Naomi Osaka. The tennis star earned around 33 million euros last year, including sponsorship. The highest an athlete has ever earned annually in history. Text: Mical Joseph

1. Naomi Osaka

Naomi was only one youngster was a year old when Serena Williams won her first Grand Slam title in 1999. Nineteen years later, Osaka defeated Williams in the US Open final – Naomi's first Grand Slam. Now the young tennis star beats Serena for the second time as the highest-paid female athlete in the world. Naomi ranks 100th in the top 29 highest-paid athletes. With Serena in 33rd place, they are the only two women in the list. Her Grand Slam titles at the US Open in 2018 and the Australian Open in 2019 and her cultural background make her a crowd favorite, which sets Naomi apart from the 'pack'.

2 Serena Williams

The legendary Serena Williams succeeds Naomi with 25 million euros, which she collected last year. Williams has 23 major titles to her name - with this victory, Serena is the only one who has ever achieved this. With this she ranked number 2002 in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) between 2017 and 1. in singles. Serena won several gold medals, most of which she won together with her sister Venus Williams. Serena's net worth is estimated at around 200 million euros.

3. Angelique Kerber

German Angelique Kerber made her professional debut in 2003 and has an estimated net worth of 27 million euros. The tennis star is a three-time Grand Slam champion and has been a mainstay in Grand Slam tennis tournaments since 2007. Angelique's peak as a player was 2016 when WTA ranked her as the best tennis player on the circuit. She also won her first two Grand Slams, the Australian Open and US Open, in 2016. In 2018, she reached Wimbledon and advanced to both the Australian Open and French Open. The German is currently ranked 14th in the WTA. Her biggest achievement in recent years was helping herself close deals with companies such as Adidas, Rolex and Porsche.

4. Simona Halep

Romanian Simona Halep is one of the most successful tennis players in recent years with her first Grand Slam in 2018. This happened after she defeated Sloane Stephens at the Roland Garros, also known as the French Open, and not long after Simona lost the final at the Australian Open. 2008 was the year in which Simona started her professional career and she has since won more than 30 million euros in prize money. Her estimated net worth is 30 million euros, with around 10 million euros annually.

5. Sloane Stephens

En Last but not least: 27-year-old Sloane Stephens. Born with an athletic background through both parents, she quickly came into contact with the sport. She turned pro in 2009 and achieved several successes, including becoming the 2017 US Open champion. The American currently has six WTA single titles to her name and Sloane is in the top 25 of the WTA. She also has a contract with Nike, which is currently one of the largest contracts in sports. Her estimated net worth is 12 million euros with an annual income of 4 million euros.

The gap narrows in tennis

Tennis is the only global sport where men and women have a degree of equality in their salaries. This is largely because the crowd remains at a similar size and the prize money has remained somewhat the same at the four Grand Slam events since 2007.