Naomi Osaka Becomes Highest Paid Female Athlete, Serena Williams Commits to Compete in 2020 US Open & National Women’s Soccer League Returns
Naomi Osaka Dethrones Serena Williams To Become The Highest Paid Female Athlete In History
By Samantha Roskind
For the last couple of years, Serena Williams has been the highest-paid female athlete in the world. This year, however, Naomi Osaka is the highest-paid athlete, breaking the record with an earning of $37.4 million. This is not the first time Osaka has broken the record as in 2015, she earned more than Maria Sharapova, who earned $29.7 million. Osaka, only twenty-two years old, is ranked 10th in the world and possesses five career titles. Osaka’s name became most known after her impressive and humble win against Serena Williams at the 2018 U.S. Open. Then in 2019, she won the Grand Slam at the Australian Open. Osaka is a part of IMG and currently has 15 sponsorship deals, including enormous brands such as Nike and Nissan Motors.
Serena Williams Commits to Compete at the US Open 2020 in August
by Julia Carroll, Chloe Robsinson, Haley Brettschneider
Although it has been announced that the 2020 US Open will begin on August 31, uncertainty remains regarding the players that will be there. The matches will be played without audiences to continue safety precautions, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
So far, Serena Williams has confirmed her plans to participate at Flushing Meadows, and Roger Federer has announced his retirement from this season, to recover from a knee surgery. Willians posted a video saying, “I can’t wait to return to New York. It’s over six months since a lot of us have played professional tennis. I will miss the crowd, but I’m excited.” 38 year-old Serena Williams, is almost out of chances to match or surpass Margaret Court’s all-time record 24 slam titles, which is one reason why she is excited and determined to continue this season. British tennis pro Andy Murray is also set on playing at Flushing Meadows, where he won the first of his three majors eight years ago. Some senior players such as Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Ashleigh Barty and Simona Halep, have expressed some concerns about traveling to New York as Covid-19 remains an large and unsafe problem in the US.
It seems as though most people are playing it by ear, and are holding off on committing until they know it’s definitely safe. 28 year old Romanian, Simona Halep, made a statement saying, “Given the conditions outlined in the US Open announcement this morning, as of today I do not currently plan to play in NYC. However, as we know, this situation is fluid and that the conditions may change and improve before the entry deadline in mid July. I would like to underline that my decision is not set in stone.”
Stacey Allaster, the United States Tennis Association chief executive claimed there had been “significant discussions” with players that are holding back on their decision to participate. There have been many decisions being made to increase the chances of more players deciding to play. Players are now allowed to bring up to three assistants, which was switched from their rule of only one guest per person. Allaster also mentioned, ““If the tournament was next week, I’m not going to speculate [how many would attend]. I am confident a lot of athletes want to play.”Once a week the players will be tested for coronavirus, after being tested on arrival. Even though some players are deciding to stay home this season, some others are determined to participate and will hopefully do so cautiously.
National Women’s Soccer League Is The First Professional League to Resume Play in The U.S.
By Zac Cornell
As Covid-19 continues to spread across the country, sport leagues have been taking appropriate precautions in order to safely return. The National Women’s Soccer League is the first professional sports league to return to play in the United States, with a bubble-style tournament starting on June 27th. The 30-day tournament, known as the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup, is taking place in Salt Lake City, Utah at Rio Tinto and Zions Bank stadiums featuring 25 games without spectators. The players and staff are housed in what is described as a “village” of hotels and apartments near the facilities.
Unfortunately, the Orlando Pride had to drop out of the tournament due to six players and four staff members testing positive for Covid-19 after a few players went to a bar in Orlando. The loss of the high profile team, which includes USWNT’s World Cup winners Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris and Emily Sonnett, and six-time world player of the year Marta, was a huge disappointment for the team and their fans. Some team members announced their frustration on social media, like Pride striker Sydney Leroux Dwyer who wrote on Twitter, “I’m heartbroken. The majority of our team and staff worked our a—- off to put us in the best position to play the game we love again. Not just for ourselves but for our families, friends, fans and our city. Good luck to the teams going to [Utah]. Wish we were there with you. Stay safe.”
Other soccer superstars have also opted out of the tournament, including National team World Cup champions Megan Rapinoe and Christen Press due to Covid fears. Carli Lloyd and Mallory Pugh won’t participate due to injuries.
Despite the complications and obstacles, the country is excited to have some live sports back on television, and other athletes and fans are rooting for a successful experience in anticipation of more sports leagues restarting after a long hiatus.
You can watch the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup on CBS and CBS All Access.