PARIS (Dispatches) - Coco Gauff clinched the fourth and final U.S. Olympic women’s singles spot and, should she want to go to Tokyo, is set to become the youngest Olympic tennis player since 2000.
Gauff, 17, qualified after countrywoman Sloane Stephens lost in the fourth round of the French Open on Monday.
Later Monday, Gauff won her own French Open fourth-round match — 6-3, 6-1 over Tunisian Ons Jabeur — to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. Gauff, who at Roland Garros became the youngest Grand Slam singles seed since Czech Nicole Vaidisova in 2006, is now the youngest Grand Slam quarterfinalist since Vaidisova in 2006.
Gauff was far behind in Olympic qualifying when the Tokyo Games were postponed in March 2020, but she’s been consistently strong this year, especially in the clay season. Gauff overtook Madison Keys, Alison Riske and Jessica Pegula in recent weeks to claim the fourth Olympic spot.
Sofia Kenin, Serena Williams and Jennifer Brady previously clinched the first three U.S. spots. Kenin and Brady confirmed this spring that they plan to play in Tokyo. Williams said last month that she hadn’t decided whether she will play.
If Williams declines, either Pegula or Riske will be next in line, depending on how far Riske goes in a grass-court tournament this week.
The U.S. Tennis Association can add up to two more women who can play doubles and mixed doubles in Rio.