American tennis quartet could end up regretting Olympic decision ‘for the rest of their lives’, warns former world No 7

Shahida Jacobs
Ben Shelton, Madison Keys, Frances Tiafoe and Sebastian Korda
American quartet of Ben Shelton, Madison Keys, Frances Tiafoe and Sebastian Korda

Madison Keys, Ben Shelton, Sebastian Korda and Frances Tiafoe’s decision to make themselves unavailable for selection for the Paris Olympics has not gone down well with American Olympic silver medallist Tim Mayotte.

The United States confirmed their tennis squad for the 2024 Games at Roland Garros with current world No 2 Coco Gauff headlining the women’s team and she will be joined by Jessica Pegula, Danielle Collins and Emma Navarro on the clay in Paris.

World No 12 Taylor Fritz is the highest-ranked American with Tommy Paul, Chris Eubanks and Marcos Giron also cracking the nod.

Navarro, Eubanks and Giron were initially expected to miss out as they are ranked lower than Keys, Shelton, Korda and Tiafoe, but the quartet turned down the chance to compete at the Olympics.

Mayotte, who reached a career-high of No 7 in 1988 and won silver at the Seoul Games in the same year, warned on social media that they could end up regretting the decision.

“Unless they win Wimby and/or the Open they will regret it for the rest of their lives,” he wrote on X.

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Keys has represented the United States at the Olympics before as she finished fourth in the singles at the 2016 Rio Games while Tiafoe was part of the 2020 Tokyo Games squad.

Shelton and Korda haven’t represented the United States at the Olympics and the former made himself unavailable for selection in March as he confirmed that he wanted to focus on the 2024 US Open.

“I’ll be in Europe for two months leading up to Wimbledon and then after, you know, I want to prepare and really get ready for the US Open,” Shelton said. “So having to go back to Europe to play on clay, a different surface, you know, it kind of messes up a few lead-up tournaments to the US Open that I would play if I wasn’t playing the Olympics.”

However, the 21-year-old has indicated that he will be keen to compete at the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

The four Americans, though, are not the only high-profile players who will miss the Paris Games as world No 2 Aryna Sabalenka, three-time Grand Slam finalist Ons Jabeur and men’s world No 6 Andrey Rublev will also skip the event.

The majority of the players who have decided not to take part have stated the switch from clay to grass back to clay and then hard courts is too big a risk as it could lead to injury.