Jennifer Brady, Jessica Pegula and Alison Riske will also compete in women's singles for Team USA

By Lindsay Kimble
July 01, 2021 02:51 PM
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Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff
| Credit: Kelly Defina/Getty

Team USA's Olympic tennis roster is set.

Coco Gauff, the 17-year-old tennis star from Florida, will play for the U.S. in women's singles, along with Jennifer Brady, 26, Jessica Pegula, 27, and Alison Riske, 30. Only four athletes in the country are on the team, as chosen by world rankings after the French Open. Many top-ranked players declined invites.

The men's singles team will include Tommy Paul, 24, Frances Tiafoe, 23, Tennys Sandgren, 29, and Marcos Giron, 27.

For women's doubles, Nicole Melichar, 27, and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 36, were named. Rajeev Ram, 37, and Austin Karjicek, 31, will play men's doubles.

Gauff will be the youngest Olympic tennis player since 2000. She's second only to Jennifer Capriati when it comes to the youngest U.S. Olympic tennis players of all time. Capriati was 16 when she won the women's singles gold medal in 1992.

The news came as Gauff advanced to the third round of Wimbledon on Thursday, winning 6-4, 6-3 over Elena Vesnina. Just two years ago, she was making her main draw debut at the annual Grand Slam tournament, where she got a surprise victory over Venus Williams.

Neither Venus, nor sister Serena Williams will compete at the Games this year — the former did not qualify for women's singles. Serena, meanwhile, announced last week that she'd be sitting the Olympics out.

"There's a lot of reasons that I made my Olympic decision," she said during a pre-Wimbledon press conference. "I don't really want to -- I don't feel like going into them today. Maybe another day."

Williams is a four-time Olympic gold medalist. Her most recent top finishes came in 2012, when she picked up a gold medal in both singles and doubles. 

"I have not thought about it. In the past [the Olympics] has been a wonderful place for me. I really haven't thought about it, so I'm going to keep not thinking about it," she said last week.

To learn more about all the Olympic hopefuls, visit TeamUSA.org. The Tokyo Olympics begin July 23rd on NBC.