OLYMPIC GAMES | TENNIS

Coco Gauff, 17 to lead US tennis at Tokyo Olympics 2021

A year since the Olympic Games were postponed, the global pandemic still appears to be a reason for many US athletes to drop out of competing at Tokyo 2021.

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Top US tennis players say "No" to 2021 Tokyo Olympics
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

The list of players appointed to Japan includes 17-year-old Coco Gauff, Jennifer Brady, Jessica Pegula and Alison Riske for women's singles, and Tommy Paul, Frances Tiafoe, Tennys Sandgren and Marcos Giron for men's singles.

Notable absences

Williams sisters Serena and Venus, who together own nine Olympic medals, 30 Grand Slams and 14 majors together in doubles, are not going to be part of the American tennis team for this summer’s Olympics.

Serena Williams, left, and Venus Williams of the United States laugh together on the podium after receiving their gold medals in women's doubles at the 2012 Summer Olympics at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, London.

Serena, No.8, who was going to attend 2021 Olympic Games, confirmed she would not compete in Tokyo after injuring her leg during her first-round Wimbledon match.

Pandemic sees drop outs of several top players

A year after having been postponed by the pandemic, the Olympic Games return on 23 July with an unexpected increase in cases in the host city now.

Sofia Kenin, who is currently the second highest-ranked American woman, No. 6, decided not to attend the Olympics this year.

As well as the four highest ranked US men: Opelka, Isner, Fritz and Korda the sixth-highest player Sam Querrey opted not to participate either.

“It's in a pandemic, which will be, probably, not as enjoyable as the past. I would rather win Indian Wells than win an Olympic gold, and I think a lot of the other guys feel the same way. Just not a huge priority in the calendar.”

Sam Querrey

Instead, this week’s list of the men signed up for singles are No. 52 Tommy Paul, No. 57 Frances Tiafoe, who arrives fresh from beating Tsitsipas at Wimbledon, No. 66 Marcos Giron and No. 68 Tennys Sandgren. Women singles include No. 25 Coco Gauff, Jennifer Brady, Jessica Pegula and No.35 Alison Riske.

Pairings

According to the US roster, the rest of its team includes pairings of Gauff with Nicole Melichar, and Pegula with Bethanie Mattek-Sands for women's doubles, and Tiafoe with Rajeev Ram, and Sandgren with Austin Krajicek for men's doubles.

US Paralympics Team

For the Tokyo Paralympics, starting 24 August, the US tennis team is led by eight-time medalist David Wagner. Also attending: Bryan Barten, Dana Mathewson, Emmy Kaiser, Shelby Baron, Casey Ratzlaff and Conner Stroud.