U.S. Olympic tennis team named, including Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff is the headliner on the U.S. Olympic tennis team for Tokyo after the top two women and top three men declined spots.
Gauff, 17, is joined by Jennifer Brady, Jessica Pegula and Alison Riske in singles, which is maximum four per country based on world rankings after the French Open. Nicole Melichar and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, a Rio Olympic gold medalist with Jack Sock, were the discretionary doubles-only picks.
Sofia Kenin and Serena Williams qualified in the spring but chose not to play. Madison Keys could have also taken a spot but declined.
Venus Williams, the most decorated Olympic tennis player in history with five medals and four golds, did not qualify in singles and either wasn’t chosen for doubles or declined an invitation.
Gauff is set to become the youngest Olympic tennis player since 2000, when Mario Ancic competed at 16 and Jelena Dokic at 17, according to Olympedia.org. She would be the second-youngest U.S. Olympic tennis player ever after 16-year-old Jennfier Capriati, who took gold at the 1992 Barcelona Games.
Gauff and Melichar and Mattek-Sands and Pegula are scheduled to be the doubles teams.
On the men’s side, Reilly Opelka, John Isner and Taylor Fritz opted out of the Tokyo Games. Sebastian Korda, Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson were outside the top four in the U.S., but could have taken spots given withdrawals, but declined.
The U.S. men’s singles team is Tommy Paul, who did qualify outright, followed by three who moved up to fill spots -- Frances Tiafoe, Tennys Sandgren and Marcos Giron. Rajeev Ram, a Rio Olympic silver medalist with Venus Williams, and Austin Krajicek are the doubles players.
Ram will play with Tiafoe and Krajicek with Sandgren.
Internationally, stars who aren’t playing the Olympics include Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and the injured Simona Halep.
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic is playing, looking to complete the career Golden Slam with an Olympic title. Djokovic can become the first man to win a calendar Golden Slam if he prevails at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, too.
Roger Federer is on the entry list but said he will decide after Wimbledon whether he will play.
The women’s singles field is led by Ash Barty and Naomi Osaka.
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