Coco Gauff to miss Olympics after positive COVID-19 test

The 17-year-old tennis star would have been the youngest Olympic tennis player since 2000

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Rising U.S. tennis star Coco Gauff announced Sunday she tested positive for the coronavirus and will not compete in this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

“I am so disappointed to share the news that I have tested positive for COVID and won’t be able to play in the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” Gauff tweeted.

“It has always been a dream of mine to represent the USA at the Olympics, and I hope there will be many more chances for me to make this come true in the future,” she continued. “I want to wish TEAM USA best of luck and a safe games for every Olympian and the entire Olympic family.”

The 17-year-old would have gone down as the youngest Olympic tennis player in 21 years and second-youngest U.S. Olympic tennis player of all time behind Jennifer Capriati, who won gold at the age of 16 in 1992’s Barcelona Games. 

The Atlanta, Georgia native won her first singles title at 15-years-old at the 2019 Linz Open in Austria and gained global attention by defeating Venus Williams in the first wound of Wimbledon later that year.

At this summer’s games, Gauff would’ve looked to bounce back from a recent 6-4, 6-4 loss to Angelique Kerber at the famed Wimbledon tournament in London, England earlier in July.

Coco Gauff
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 26: Coco Gauff of the United States receives during her Women’s Singles fourth round match against Sofia Kenin of the United States on day seven of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

She currently sits at number 25 in the Women’s Tennis Association singles rankings.

“We were saddened to learn that Coco Gauff has tested positive for COVID-19 and will therefore be unable to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” the U.S. Tennis Association said in a statement.

“We wish her the best as she deals with this unfortunate situation and hope to see her back on the courts very soon. We know Coco will join all of us in rooting on the other Team USA members who will be traveling to Japan and competing in the coming days.”

In Tokyo, Gauff would have represented Team USA alongside stars including Jennifer Brady, Jessica Pegula and Alison Riske.

Serena Williams is among the players who qualified for the Olympics but decided not to compete. The 39-year-old, who has won 23 Grand Slams and four Olympic gold medals, said she had not even given a thought to competing in Tokyo this summer.

“There’s a lot of reasons that I made my Olympic decision. I don’t really want to — I don’t feel like going into them today. Maybe another day. Sorry,” she said at Wimbledon in June. “I have not thought about it. In the past [the Olympics] has been a wonderful place for me. I really haven’t thought about it, so I’m going to keep not thinking about it.”

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