Jones defies rare physical condition to qualify for Australian Open By Reuters

(Reuters) – Britain’s Francesca Jones, who suffers from a rare genetic disease, reached the main draw of her first Grand Slam on Wednesday when she beat China’s Lu Jiajing in the final qualifying round of the Australian Open in Dubai. Jones suffers from Ectodermal Dysplasia Ectodactyly Syndrome, a condition that meant she was born with three fingers and a thumb on each hand, three fingers on her right foot, and four fingers on her left. Doctors told the 20-year-old as a child that she would not be able to pursue a professional tennis career due to her physical handicaps, which Jones says prompted her to prove them wrong. The world number 241, who considers balance to be the biggest deficiency due to her condition, has beaten the odds and added a new chapter to her story on Wednesday when she beat Chinese Lu 6-0 6-1 to reserve her ticket. for Melbourne. . “I’m very happy to qualify and really looking forward to going to Australia,” said Jones, who has already had more than 10 surgeries in his life. “I’ve never been before and I’m sure it’s going to be an amazing experience. I guess any draw for me would be fascinating. I look forward to whatever game I play, be it Serena Williams (NYSE 🙂 or another qualifier.” Jones will now board a chartered flight to Melbourne, where players will serve a mandatory 14-day quarantine before warm-up events begin on January 31 before the Australian Open. Also joining the British on the flight will be former world number five from Italy Sara Errani, who was a Roland Garros runner-up, a US Open semi-finalist and a 2012 Australian Open quarter-finalist before dropping down the rankings. The 33-year-old, currently ranked 131st, booked her place for the Grand Slam on February 8-21 at Melbourne Park with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Croatian Ana Konjuh in the final round of qualification.

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