Cori “Coco” Gauff, a teenage Olympic hopeful from Atlanta, Georgia, has been barred from competing in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo after testing positive for COVID-19 Sunday.
“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,” Gauff Tweeted, sharing the disappointing news. “I want to wish TEAM USA best of luck and a safe games for every Olympian and the entire Olympic family.”
Gauff is currently the 25th ranked female player in the world. At 17-years-old, she is the youngest player ranked in the top 100 by the Woman’s Tennis Association.
— Coco Gauff (@CocoGauff) July 18, 2021
She was slated to compete in both singles and doubles at the games and was considered the “headliner” on the team after the top two women and top three men declined spots, according to NBC Sports.
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is now trying to determine whether they can replace Gauff’s spot on the roster, CNN reported.
“The entire USA Tennis Olympic contingent is heartbroken for Coco,” USTA tweeted. “We wish her the best as she deals with this unfortunate situation and hope to see her back on the courts very soon.”
Gauff’s withdrawal comes just six days before the Olympic tennis team is scheduled to take the court at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo. (RELATED: REPORT: American Sprinting Superstar Sha’Carri Richardson Could Miss The Olympics After Testing Positive For Marijuana)
There are now 55 confirmed cases linked to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, including officials and contractors, according to CNN. Kara Eaker — an alternate for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team — tested positive for COVID-19 Monday evening, according to the Washington Post.
The games are scheduled to begin Friday, with athletes using contact tracers and receiving daily COVID tests. If they test positive, they will be taken to a facility outside the Olympic Village to isolate and will not be eligible to compete, CNN reported.
Per Japan’s State of Emergency, no spectators will be allowed at the games.