Tennis Team USA at Paris Olympics 2024: Will Coco Gauff and Frances Tiafoe make the cut?

coco Gauff(left) and Frances Tiafoe(right)
coco Gauff(left) and Frances Tiafoe(right)

Top players including Coco Gauff and Frances Tiafoe are looking to represent the USA at the 2024 Paris Olympics. The prestigious event is scheduled from July 26 to Aug. 11. While Gauff has accumulated enough points to make the cut, Tiafoe is likely to face stiff competition from the likes of Taylor Fritz and Tommy Paul.

Team USA's performance in the 2020 edition of the games (held in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic) was well below par. With the withdrawals of top players including Serena Williams, Sofia Kenin, Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka, Gauff, and John Isner, the understrength American team left the Tokyo Olympics without a medal in tennis for the first time since 1988.

However, this time around the American side will be looking to come back stronger. Let's take a look at the qualifying criteria with Gauff and Tiafoe's current positions for the US tennis squad.

Qualifying criteria

The singles draw at the Olympics will include 64 players. 56 of those will be determined through rankings. The rankings will be used from the week of June 10th, right after this year's French Open.

Apart from the 56 direct acceptances, ITF Places are given to winners or finalists of continental competitions in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. The other two ITF Places are reserved for Olympic or Grand Slam singles champions who don't qualify through other criteria, provided they are in the top 400.

Team USA will hence have four singles spots for each gender. An important factor will also be that this year, the contest will be on clay at Stade Roland Garros.

Coco Gauff seals her spot for Paris Olympics

Reigning US Open champion Coco Gauff has enough points in her kitty to guarantee her an Olympic spot. The World No. 3 will be making her maiden Olympic appearance. She had withdrawn from the previous edition of the Games after contracting COVID-19.

Vying for the other three spots are World No. 5 Jessica Pegula, along with World No. 18 Madison Keys. Notably, Keys also placed fourth at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the singles event. World No. 20 Emma Navarro will also be looking to be a part of the elite group.

Former champions including 2020 Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin (ranked 58th), 2017 US Open champ Sloane Stephens (41st), and 2022 Australian Open runner-up Danielle Collins (53rd) are also likely to be in contention with Coco Gauff.

Speaking about what she had envisaged as her goals in the 2024 season, Gauff told NBC Sports in January:

"One of the goals I wrote down on my vision thing, vision note, in my phone, was to win a medal in the Olympics. I’ll be completely honest, I don’t really care what event it is in. I feel like a gold, silver, or bronze, whatever medal it is, is one of those things it doesn’t matter."

Frances Tiafoe's competitors for the Olympic spot

Frances Tiafoe made his maiden Olympic appearance at the Tokyo Olympics held in 2021. This time, the World No. 22 could have a tough run if he wants to make the squad, particularly with World No. 13 Taylor Fritz, who declined participation in 2021, in the mix.

Other American players ranked inside the Top 20 are World No. 14 Tommy Paul and World No. 17 Ben Shelton. World No. 29 and 2023 Australian Open quarterfinalist Sebastian Korda is also likely to be considered for a spot. Christopher Eubanks, ranked 32nd, would also consider himself in the running for a spot in the American team.

With strong players on both men's and women's sides, Team USA will be looking to make their home country shine on the world stage at the 2024 Summer Olympics.

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