Coco Gauff to lead US tennis team at Paris Olympics after missing Tokyo

The 20-year-old Gauff, ranked No. 2, is the U.S. Open champion and has reached the semifinals at the year’s first two Grand Slams, the Australian and French Opens.

Coco Gauff will lead the U.S. tennis team at the Paris Olympics three years after missing the Tokyo Games because she tested positive for COVID-19.

The 20-year-old Gauff, ranked No. 2, will be joined by No. 5 Jessica Pegula, Danielle Collins and Emma Navarro in women’s singles, along with Taylor Fritz, Tommy Paul, Chris Eubanks and Marcos Giron in men’s singles.

Olympic tennis starts July 27 at Roland Garros, the site of the French Open.

The American team features six first-time Olympians, the U.S. Tennis Association said in Thursday’s announcement.

Gauff is the U.S. Open champion and has reached the semifinals at the year’s first two Grand Slams, the Australian and French Opens. She was a finalist on the Roland Garros clay in 2022 and will be a medal contender in doubles, too.

Gauff and Pegula have won five doubles titles as a pair. Gauff won her first major doubles title — with Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic — at the French Open this month.

Gauff tested positive for COVID-19 days before the start of the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics in July 2021.

Pegula returned to action last week from a neck injury in April that forced her to miss the French Open. She was a singles quarterfinalist there in 2022.

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The 30-year-old Collins, who has said this will be her final season on the tour, has won two titles this year in Miami and Charleston. The 2022 Australian Open runner-up also reached the Strasbourg final in May before a second-round exit at the French Open, where her best result was the quarterfinals in 2020.

Doubles player Desirae Krawczyk will team up with Collins at the the Paris Games. Collins and Krawczyk won a doubles title last year in Charleston. Krawczyk is a four-time Grand Slam champion in mixed doubles.

Navarro, at a career-high No. 17, reached the fourth round at Roland Garros.

For the men, Fritz is the highest-ranked American at No. 12, followed by Paul at No. 13. Eubanks is 44th and Giron 53rd.

Paul and Giron competed at the Tokyo Games.

The U.S. is also taking 40-year-old Rajeev Ram to his third Olympics. He’ll be paired with Austin Krajicek in doubles. Fritz and Paul will also join forces in doubles.

Ram, who has four major doubles titles, won the mixed doubles silver medal with Venus Williams at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

The USTA said it will announce one mixed doubles team for Paris at a later date.