British tennis player Francesca Jones, who suffers from rare genetic condition, qualifies for Australian Open


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Francesca Jones, a British tennis player that suffers from a rare genetic condition that doctors said would prevent her from going professional in her sport, officially qualified for the Australian Open on Wednesday. She defeated Lu Jiajing in the final round of the tournament’s qualifying competition in Dubai.¬†

Ranked No. 241 in the world, Jones has ectrodactyly ectodermal dysplasia syndrome and was born with three fingers and a thumb on each hand, three toes on her right foot and four toes on her left. Doctors told her as a child that she would not be able to pursue a career in pro tennis because of the physical disadvantages the condition gave her.

Her defiance of medical expectations continued during her 6-0, 6-1 victory over her opponent Wednesday. The 20-year-old, who has undergone 10 surgeries in her life so far, is now set to play against some of the best in the world at her first ever Grand Slam competition.

“I’m just super happy to qualify and really looking forward to getting out to Australia,” Jones said, per Reuters.

“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 a fascinating one. I look forward to any match I’ll play, whether it’ll be Serena Williams or another qualifier.”

The Australian Open’s warm-up events start on Jan. 31 with the tournament itself opening¬†on Feb. 8.





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