American teen tennis star Coco Gauff has pulled out of the Summer Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19, she announced Sunday.
The 17-year-old French Open quarterfinalist was expected to be one of the headliners on the U.S squad after Serena Williams and No. 4 WTA-ranked Sofia Kenin opted out of participating on the women’s side.
“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,” tweeted Gauff, who is ranked 25th in the world. “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. I want to wish TEAM USA best of luck and a safe games for every Olympian and the entire Olympic family.”
The three American men’s players with the highest world rankings on the ATP Tour – Reilly Opelka (No. 33), John Isner (34) and Taylor Fritz (40) – also declined to represent the U.S. squad.
Earlier this year, Gauff lost in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros to Barbora Krejcikova and in the fourth round at Wimbledon to 2018 champion Angelique Kerber.
“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 USTA said in a statement. “The entire USA Tennis Olympic contingent is heartbroken for Coco.
“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.”
Gauff’s absence leaves 2020 U.S. Open semifinalist Jennifer Brady, Jessica Pegula and Alison Riske as those representing Team USA in singles on the women’s side. Pegula is the daughter of Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula.
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