Leeds ace Francesca Jones one win away from milestone grand slam debut
Great Britain’s Francesca Jones is one victory away from a main draw grand slam debut after beating Jana Fett in the second round of qualifying for the Australian Open.
The 20-year-old from Leeds won a slam qualifying match for the first time against Monica Niculescu on Monday and followed that up with a battling 7-6 (7) 2-6 6-1 victory over Fett.
A 69-minute first set went the way of Jones on her third set point, with both players serving a host of double faults, but Croatian Fett fought back to take the second. Jones roused herself superbly in the third, though, winning five games in a row to clinch victory and a final-round date with China’s Lu Jia-jing.
The British No 5, Jones’ progress is especially impressive because she was born with a congenital condition that means she only has three fingers and a thumb on each hand, three toes on one foot and four toes on the other.
Jones was the only one of Britain’s five entrants to make it past the opening round of the qualifying events, which are being played in Dubai and Doha to limit travel to Australia.
Aryna Sabalenka, meanwhile, continued her winning streak to reach the final of the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open.
The 10th-ranked Belarusian ended 2020 with consecutive titles and is one victory away from making that three in a row after beating Maria Sakkari 6-3 6-2.
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