Tennis world in shock over Coco Gauff's Olympics announcement

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·Sports Editor
·4-min read
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Coco Gauff, pictured here in action at Wimbledon against Angelique Kerber.
Coco Gauff in action at Wimbledon against Angelique Kerber. (Photo by Han Yan/Xinhua via Getty Images)

American teen tennis sensation Coco Gauff has been forced to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for Covid-19.

The 17-year-old was set to become the youngest Olympic tennis player since Serena Williams in 2000.

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However she now joins a number of the world's top players in pulling out of the Tokyo Games.

"I'm 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," World No.25 Gauff, who was set to compete in both the singles and doubles for Team USA, said 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."

Coco Gauff and Serena Williams, pictured here in New York in 2019.
Coco Gauff was set to become the youngest tennis player at the Olympics since Serena Williams. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Lotte New York Palace)

Gauff reached her first grand slam quarter-final at this year's French Open.

She won her second WTA singles title at Parma in May after capturing her first in 2019 at Linz.

The 17-year-old will be forced into Covid-19 quarantine and isolation protocols.

"I want to wish TEAM USA best of luck and a safe games for every Olympian and the entire Olympic family," Gauff tweeted.

The Olympics tennis event in Tokyo is missing a host of big names.

Major winners Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Angelique Kerber and Bianca Andreescu have all withdrawn

However World No.1s Novak Djokovic and Ashleigh Barty are both playing, as is women's World No.2 Naomi Osaka.

Fans expressed their sadness for Gauff on social media.

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Alex de Minaur out of Olympics with Covid-19

The Tokyo Games, pushed back by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, are scheduled to begin on Friday.

The announcement by Gauff, who last competed at Wimbledon where she lost in the last 16, comes two days after Australian tennis player Alex de Minaur tested positive for Covid-19 prior to his departure for the Olympics.

The World No.17 tested positive 96 and then 72 hours before travelling to Tokyo, for what would have been his Olympic debut.

It was the Australian team's first Covid-19 positive test ahead of the Games.

De Minaur, who is otherwise enjoying another breakout season in 2021, was picked for the singles and was also planning to partner with John Peers in the doubles.

"We are very disappointed for Alex. He said he's shattered not being able to come," Australian team chef de mission Ian Chesterman said at a Tokyo news conference on Friday morning.

"It's been a dream since he was a child to represent Australia at the Olympic Games, but he's sent his very best wishes for the rest of the team.

"No other tennis players have had physical contact with Alex since he left Wimbledon on July 5, where he tested negative.

"All other Australian players have tested negative since. We look forward to welcoming those athletes into our team."

with agencies

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