Britain’s Francesca Jones qualified for a Grand Slam for the first time with a crushing victory over Lu Jia-Jing in the final round of Australian Open qualifying.

The 20-year-old beat China’s Lu 6-0 6-1 in just one hour and one minute.

Jones was playing in her first overseas Grand Slam qualifying draw at the tournament in Dubai.

“I’m just super happy to qualify and really looking forward to getting out to Oz,” she said.

“I’ve never been before and I’m sure it’s going to be an amazing experience.”

In reaching the main draw, Jones defeated former world top 30 and top 100 players Monica Niculescu and Jana Fett before her win over world number 200 Lu.

Jones has ectrodactyly ectodermal dysplasia syndrome, a rare genetic condition that means she was born with three fingers and a thumb on each hand, three toes on her right foot and four toes on her left.

She plays with a light racquet and very small grip, and in the gym works hard on balance and technique. Her feet do not always move the way other feet do, so she has to be precise to avoid injury,

Fuelled by the scepticism of one particular medical specialist, Jones was accepted into the famed Sanchez Casal Academy in Barcelona at the age of just 10.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: