“I will not let my disability define who I am,” said Francesca Jones, a British tennis player who has qualified for the 2021 Australian Open Women’s Singles. Jones who has four fingers on each hand defeated Lu Jia-Jing of China 2-0 in the final round of the qualifying tournament for the Australian Open in Dubai on Wednesday. She also earned a 2-0 victory against the former world No. 28 Monica Niculescu of Romania in the first round. Now, Jones has secured a spot on the list of 128 players announced on Thursday to compete in the Australia Open.
Jone has ectrodactyly, which causes the absence of fingers and/or toes. She has four fingers on each hand and three and four toes on the right food and the left foot, respectively. However, the speed, power, and stability of her swings are nothing short of players without the disability.
Jones is one of the Top 5 players in the U.K. and ranked 241st globally. This is the first time that she is competing in a major tournament. She was disqualified in the first round of the qualifying tournament for the 2019 Wimbledon in the U.K. “I look forward to any match I'll play, whether it'll be Serena Williams or another qualifier,” said Jones.
She is garnering much attention as she has been on the rise with 24 wins and 11 losses last year. The Australian Open will be held in Melbourne for two weeks from February 8.