Photo: Fred Lee/Getty Images

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka, 22, has become the highest-paid female athlete in history after raking in $37.4 million last year, Forbes reports.

Why it matters: Pay disparities for women in professional sports have drawn attention in recent years, especially after U.S. women's national soccer team accused the U.S. Soccer Federation of "institutionalized gender discrimination" in 2019. Professional female athletes also told "Axios on HBO" in March that the fight for equal pay has a long way to go.

  • Osaka earned her millions through game winnings, endorsement partners and apparel deals.
  • She came in at No. 29 on Forbes' "Top 100 highest-paid athletes" list, overtaking fellow tennis pro Serena Williams, who earned $36 million last year and came in at No. 33 on the list.

Go deeper

The fleeting facade of amateurism in college sports

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

If football and men's basketball players at Power 5 colleges were paid under collective bargaining agreements like their professional peers in the NFL and NBA, they would earn annual salaries of $360,000 and $500,000, respectively.

Driving the news: That's according to a new study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which also estimates that high-profile athletes like quarterbacks ($2.4 million per year on average) and every starting player on a basketball team (between $800,000 and $1.2 million per year) would earn significantly more.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes. A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.