Women’s Tennis: UVA alums Collins, Navarro named to U.S. Olympic Team

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Virginia women’s tennis alumnae Danielle Collins and Emma Navarro have been selected to represent the United States of America at the Paris 2024 Olympic Tennis Event, as announced Thursday by the USTA.

Collins and Navarro are the first players in program history named to an Olympic team. Both players have previously represented the United States at the Billie Jean King Cup, with Collins playing in 2019 and Navarro earlier this year. These will be their first Olympic appearances. 

The women’s team includes singles world No. 2 Coco Gauff, No. 5 Jessica Pegula, No. 11 Danielle Collins, No. 17 Emma Navarro, and doubles No. 11 Desirae Krawczyk. Coached by USTA Head of Women’s Tennis Kathy Rinaldi, the U.S. women’s team will feature four singles players in Paris–Gauff, Pegula, Collins and Navarro–and two doubles teams: Gauff and Pegula, Collins and Krawczyk.

The U.S. will also announce its one mixed doubles team that will compete in Paris–taken from the above-named players–at a later date.

Collins played three seasons at Virginia (2014-16), winning the NCAA Singles titles in 2014 and 2016 and the Honda Sport Award for women’s tennis her senior season. She turned pro after graduating, winning her first WTA 125 title in 2018. In 2019, she advanced to the semifinals in singles at the Australian Open, her best finish at a Grand Slam until finishing as the runner-up at the same event in 2022.

She also made the doubles semifinals at Wimbledon in 2022. She has won four WTA singles titles, including back-to-back in Miami and Charleston this year. She debuted in the top 10 of the world rankings in January of 2022 following her Australian Open finals run, ranking as high as No. 7 in July of that year. She returned to a top-10 ranking in May and is currently ranked No. 11.

Navarro played two seasons at Virginia (2021-22), winning the NCAA Singles title as a freshman in 2021. The four-time ITA All-American amassed a 51-3 record in singles and a 33-17 mark in doubles before going pro after her sophomore season. Navarro ended the 2023 season on the WTA tour strong, making the semifinals of the WTA 500 event in San Diego in September and winning the LTA 100K in Charleston in November.

She started 2024 by picking up her first WTA title at the Hobart International, topping Elise Mertens in the final. In back-to-back stellar performances at WTA 1000-level events, she defeated Aryna Sabalenka to advance to the quarterfinals in Indian Wells before making the Round of 16 at the Miami Open. She has had a meteoric rise through the world rankings, cracking the top 200 in March of 2022 and making the top 100 in May of 2023 before reaching a No. 32 ranking at the end of the year. After advancing to the Round of 16 this year at Roland-Garros, she has moved up to a No. 17 world ranking.

Team nominations are subject to approval by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and the International Tennis Federation. The United States Paralympic tennis team will be announced in late July.

Eligible singles players have the opportunity to accept or decline the nomination to the 2024 Olympic tennis team. If a tennis player declines, the next highest-ranked American singles tennis player has the nomination extended to them.

Tennis was part of the Olympic program from the first modern Olympiad in 1896 until 1924.  After a 64-year hiatus, tennis returned to the official Olympic program in 1988, becoming the first sport to feature professional athletes.

The 2024 Olympic Games will be held from July 26 to Aug. 11 in Paris, with the tennis competition staged from July 27 to Aug. 4 at Roland Garros. The U.S. has won 24 Olympic medals (14 gold) in men’s and women’s tennis since it returned as a full medal sport in 1988–more than any other nation.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) will announce the full entry list for the Paris 2024 Olympic Tennis Event on July 4.