• Francesca Jones will be joining compatriots Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and Katie Boulter in the women’s main draw for this year’s Australian Open
  • She powered her way through a couple of tough matches before coasting into the main draw
  • It will be her first Slam main draw appearance
DUBAI, UAE – Francesca Jones completed an inspiring run into the Australian Open Women’s singles main draw, which takes place in February.

 

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Francesca Jones makes it four female Brits in the Australian Open women’s singles main draw

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Nothing was more evident over the last few days than Francesca Jones’ determination on court to make the planned chartered flights out of Dubai and off to quarantine in Melbourne. To make the main draw of a Slam is special in itself. To do it with physical challenges makes it all the sweeter.

Jones was born with a rare genetic order, Ectrodactyly Ectodermal Dysplasia (EEC) which affects her grip and balance but has added a steely determination to the 20-year-old who hit a career high at the end of last year, despite the challenges to lower-ranked players in terms of tournaments in the midst of a global pandemic.

(h/t International Tennis Federation YouTube)

Her path through the Australian Qualifying draw was no easy feat, drawing the seeded and experienced Monica Niculescu in the first round. She was broken in her very first game before fighting back to overturn the odds in the first set and displayed more of the same in the second set to stun the World No. 144.

She had to come back from behind again, this time against Jana Fett and after an almighty tussle where Fett failed to capitalise on six more chances to break, she levelled and went on to win a tense tie-break to take the lead.

She did not panic when the momentum swung sharply to the Croatian as she set about levelling the match. Instead, after an initial flurry of breaks at the start of the decider, Jones put pedal to the metal and denied Fett any other chance of adding to her game tally.

Come the final qualifying round against Jia-Jing Lu, it was a fait accompli for the loss of just a single game, accompanied with a deserving roar of triumph.

She told BBC Sport: “I’m just super happy to qualify and really looking forward to getting out to Oz. I’ve never been before and I’m sure it’s going to be an amazing experience.”

Jones is the sole-survivor of a band of British hopefuls – Naiktha Bains, Harriet Dart, Jay Clarke, and Liam Broady – who fell at the first hurdle.

She will now join Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and Katie Boulter who comes in with a protected ranking having dropped from being inside the Top 100 to 365th in the rankings.

Special charter flights have been put on to bring players to the State of Victoria where they will quarantine and be allowed limited practice ahead of the Australian swing of events, starting on the January 31.

ATP WTA
ATP 250: Murray River Open 31 Jan – 6 Feb WTA 500: Gippsland Trophy 31
ATP 250: Great Ocean Road Open 31 Jan – 6 Feb WTA 500: Yarra Valley Classic
ATP Cup 1-5 Feb
Grand Slam – Australian Open 8-20 Feb
WTA 250: Phillip Island Trophy
WTA 500: WTA 500 Australia

 

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