Coco Gauff was denied the chance to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 after testing positive for COVID and the American says winning a medal at the Paris Games would be on a par with Grand Slam success for her this year.

The 20-year-old is eager to make her Games debut when the tennis event gets underway on July 27 at Roland Garros, the same venue where she will bid for a second Grand Slam title at the French Open, which kicks off later this month.

“For me, the Olympics is a top priority. I’d say equal to the Grand Slams,” Gauff told reporters at the Italian Open.

“I wouldn’t put it above or below just because I’ve never played before. This is my first time.

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“Obviously, I always want to do well, try to get a medal. But the preparation is going to be interesting, because I’ve never done the grass to clay transition before.

“I’m not putting too much pressure on it because I really want to fully indulge in the experience. Hopefully I can have it multiple times in my lifetime. I’ll treat it as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Gauff’s immediate focus is to prepare for the French Open, which begins on May 26, and the world number three said improving her serve could be key to collecting another Grand Slam title following last year’s U.S. Open triumph.

“I think for me it’s just serving better than I did last week, honestly,” added Gauff, who finished runner-up in the 2022 French Open runner-up.

“I feel the other parts of my game are improving. If I can work that through, I think it’ll set me up for a very good Roland Garros.”

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