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Coco Gauff Bouncing Back After Missing Olympics Due to COVID

By Erik Gudris | Thursday, August 5, 2021

Rising American Coco Gauff hopes to bounce back this summer after missing the Tokyo Olympics due to COVID-19.

The 17-year-old Gauff is in Washington DC this week for the Citi Open Women's Invitational, an exhibition series of three round-robin matches. It's the first appearance for Gauff since reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon. Gauff was set to compete in Olympic tennis for the United States. But before she could get vaccinated, she tested positive for COVID and had to withdraw.

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"I mean, I was obviously disappointed," Gauff said. "I mean, you all know I have talked about the Olympics pretty much since Australian Open when I realized I had a chance to make the team, but, I mean, I think I'm very hopeful I will have many other opportunities to qualify for the team and hopefully actually get to the Olympics before any unforeseen circumstances happen.

"But I'm just happy that I didn't have really many symptoms. I was pretty much asymptomatic, I still have a loss of smell, but other than that, a-ok."

Gauff added that she could not get the vaccine earlier in the year while in Charleston because she was under 18 at the time. She hopes to get it soon after playing in Cincinnati.

Tennis Express

With player "bubbles" planned for upcoming events, including in Montreal, Canada, Gauff looks forward to playing in front of a crowd again.

"It definitely means a lot to be out here on the court even if it's just an exo, just to play in front of the crowd, especially since we are going back to Canada which will be a bubble, so it will be nice just to get some crowd experience and be in the crowd before it's time to go back to the bubbles."

Gauff is joined in the exhibition by two-time major winner Victoria Azarenka and 2019 Citi Open women's champion Jessica Pegula.