Coco Gauff will not make her Olympic debut after all.
The young tennis star revealed on Sunday that she tested positive for the coronavirus and will not play in the Tokyo Games.
“I am so sad 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, 17, shared on Twitter. “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.
Gauff, ranked No. 23, was the marquee player of the contingent of four invited by USA Tennis to participate in the women’s singles event at the games — along with No. 15 Jennifer Brady, No. 26 Jessica Pegula and No. 29 Alison Riske. She was also slated to compete in doubles with Nicole Melichar.
“I want to wish Team USA best of luck and a safe games for every Olympian and the entire Olympic family.”
Gauff is one of several top tennis players who will not make the trip to Japan for these Games.
Four-time Olympic gold medalist Serena Williams said last month she would not be heading to Tokyo, but didn’t give a specific reason. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Rafael Nadal withdrew in June as well to focus on his health. Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Matteo Berrettini, Roger Federer and five others opted out because of injuries. Bianca Andreescu, Victoria Azarenka, Nick Kyrgios, Denis Shapovalov and 22 other top tennis stars have opted out of their respected nationals teams, citing COVID concerns.
“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,” 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 is also one of four tennis player in to forcibly withdraw or opt out after testing positive for the virus. Australia’s Olympic team announced on Thursday that Alex de Minaur received a positive COVID test and would not be making the trip to Tokyo. And two athletes from the South African soccer contingent, who were already in the Olympic Village, were revealed to have tested positive for the virus on Sunday.
The Olympics Games in Tokyo are slated to kick off on Friday with the Opening Ceremony, and most events, held without fans due to COVID restrictions.