Ever since its reveal, many fans have speculated whether or not Link will be female. At one point a strong rumor was also revealed that characters will be able to select their gender before starting their journey. All of this has now been ruled out.
Series Directory Eiji Aonuma, has clarified that male Link is the only Link we control in the game. As the rumors suggested, there was at one point in the development phase where players could choose a gender for Link. This wasn’t approved because it wouldn’t make sense to change Link’s gender when Zelda is already a well established female character in the series.
“we thought about it, and decided that if we’re going to have a female protagonist it’s simpler to have Princess Zelda as the main character.”
It was then decided not have Zelda the main character as Link’s role as the hero would be diminished.
“if [Nintendo] places princess Zelda as the main character who fights, then what is Link going to do? Taking into account that, and also the idea of the balance of the Triforce, we thought it best to come back to this [original] makeup.”
My personal take: it would have been nice have a gender selection at the start. I know a lot of Zelda fans want to play as female Link. Then again the Legend of Zelda does have a lot of great female characters include Impa. Perhaps they could have made her the hero? But removing Link as the main would have annoyed a lot of fans. I guess Nintendo wanted to play it safe.