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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.

6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats target billionaires

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

After failing to get a deal on other planned tax increases, key Senate Democrats are pivoting to a billionaires' income tax to pay for President Biden's social spending.

The big picture: No advanced economy has attempted anything similar on such a scale.

Anti-abortion activists' Supreme Court dreams are coming true

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

This is the moment the conservative legal movement has been building toward for decades: The solidly conservative Supreme Court is about to hear two major abortion cases within a month of each other.

Why it matters: All of this is likely to end with significant new restrictions on abortion and a clear path for Republican-led states to win the next big abortion cases, too — the culmination of a long and bitter fight for control of the judiciary.