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Coco Gauff makes ‘top priority’ statement as she assesses importance of Olympics and Grand Slams

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Coco Gauff has identified this year’s Paris Olympics as a “top priority” as she discussed her biggest goals ahead of the 2024 Italian Open.

The world No 3 revealed she will treat the 2024 Games as “a once-in-a-lifetime experience” and declared she sees it as being “equal” to the Grand Slams.

Gauff will make her Olympic debut at the Paris Games, with the tennis event to be staged at Stade Roland Garros from July 27 to August 4.

The 20-year-old American was forced to miss the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which were held in 2021, because she tested positive for COVID-19.

The US Open champion is currently in Rome for the Italian Open, where she will face world No 55 Magdalena Frech in her opening match. Gauff reached the last 16 of the Madrid Open last week, where she was beaten by fellow countrywoman Madison Keys in three sets.

During her pre-tournament press conference in the Italian capital, Gauff was asked where the Olympics stands in comparison to the four Majors for her.

“For me, the Olympics is a top priority. I would say equal to the Grand Slams. I wouldn’t put it above or below just because I’ve never played before. This is my first time,” said the American.

“Obviously, I always want to do well, try to get a medal. Yeah, I mean, but the prep 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 the experience multiple times in my lifetime. I’ll treat it as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

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