As one of the most exciting young names on the British tennis circuit, Francesca Jones has made many fans in a short space of time. The 20-year-old has gone from relative obscurity in her career to making huge gains in major tournaments. Indeed, after a 14-day quarantine period, she will be able to take part in the much-anticipated Grand Slam, the Australian Open.
This should comfortably be the biggest event of her professional career so far. After an incredible rise in such a short space of time, she dominated her qualifying win to get to the tournament proper. The Briton came through a dominant win against Lu Jia-Jing, the Chinese high-riser, wining 6-0, 6-1 in a match that lasted for just under over one hour. This leaves her in the first ever draw for a Grand Slam tournament in her career, showing immense progress and growth in a very short space of time.
Indeed, she’ll be among the lowest ranked players in the tournament. She only made the cut-off in the December qualification round after a spate of withdrawals, leaving the 20-year-old needing to defeat players far higher up the rankings than she was. However, already in her career Jones has shown a propensity to handle the heat and the pressure with composure and confidence.
The victory not only earns her the chance to compete at a major tournament, but it also leaves the 20-year-old with a whopping cheque of £56,000. This is comfortably the highest earning day of her career, with the promise of more to come if she can continue to upset the odds in such a spectacular fashion.
Is Francesca Jones a future tennis star?
It certainly looks that way. While male British tennis has enjoyed the rise of the likes of Andy Murray in the last two decades, the women’s game been waiting patiently for a similar star to come along an take part. For many, then, the rapid and the proven rise of the young Briton poses many exciting questions about the future of the sport. She has the talent, the grit, and the desire to make it all the way to the top. Can she?
Having managed to qualify for a Grand Slam tournament far earlier than ever her most passionate supporter could have hoped for, Jones looks set to step it up a notch and move into a new level of play. However, she’s retaining that grounded nature that has played such a role in getting her to this unique point in her career, saying of her time to arrive in Australia: “The first thing I need to do when I get to my room is get laundry done!
“I didn’t want to jinx anything so I brought enough but not too much. I went to London for Christmas and so had loads of winter clothes with me.”
With a bubbly personality to match a steely determination and desire on the court, Jones might just be the most exciting young tennis player in Britain today.