Coco Gauff to miss Olympics due to positive COVID test: What does this mean for U.S. team?
Coco Gauff, the 17-year-old U.S. tennis star, will not be making the trip to Tokyo to compete in the 2021 Olympics.
On Sunday, Gauff, the No. 23 player in the world, shared on her Twitter that she tested positive for COVID-19.
“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,” Gauff wrote in the message.
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The news of Gauff’s positive test comes just a day after the Olympics announced an athlete in the Olympic village tested positive for the coronavirus.
The U.S. Olympics roster now has No. 15 Jennifer Brady, No. 27 Jessica Pegula and No. 35 Alison Riske, along with doubles-only players Nicole Melichar and Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Top-ranked U.S. women Sofia Kenin and Serena Williams both opted not to play.
In a similar situation, Australia lost one of its top tennis players when Alex de Minaur was forced to withdraw after a positive COVID-19 test. Australia did not replace him on the singles roster but did bring Max Purcell onto the roster to join John Peers in doubles.
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With just days to go, Team USA must now figure out its doubles situation. Brady, Pegula and Riske will be the team’s singles representatives. Gauff had also been paired with Melichar in doubles and Pegula is currently matched with Mattek-Sands; Brady or Riske could take the pairing with Melichar for the doubles competition if the U.S. is unable to replace Gauff before the games begin. Brady is the No. 66 doubles player in the world, while Riske is at No. 35.
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