(Abu Dhabi) British tennis player Francesca “Fran” Jones, born with four fingers on each hand, qualified for her first Grand Slam tournament, beating China’s Lu Jia-jing in the final round of qualifying. ‘Australian Open.
Fran Jones, 20, affected by an embryonic development defect causing her to have only 8 fingers and 7 toes, swept Lu 6-0, 6-1.
“My syndrome is very rare. It’s complicated because there are so many symptoms. Mine is that I have three toes on my right foot, four on the left, four fingers on each hand, ”said the British player, in a video released by the International Federation (ITF) this week.
“The doctors told me I couldn’t play tennis. And my reaction was “since you said that, I’m going to prove you wrong”. ”
With her success against Lu, more experienced (31 years) and better ranked (N.200), here is the native of Leeds (N.241) qualified for her first Major, the Australian Open, which begins on February 8.
After eliminating the Romanian Monica Niculescu (144e at the WTA but ex-top 30) at 1is qualifying round for the Australian Open, relocated to Dubai for health reasons, the Briton had dismissed the Croatian Jana Fett (209e).
So far, Fran Jones, who has the ambition to “become a big name in sport”, had failed twice in the first round of qualifying at Wimbledon in 2018 and 2019.
The genetic pathology from which she is affected, the syndrome of ectodactyly-ectodermal dysplasia-cleft lip and palate (EEC syndrome), poses in particular “a big problem of balance”.
“When you have fewer toes, it’s harder to put weight on your feet,” she explains, which leads to an increased risk of injury.
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