Kids have dreams. When they grow up, they say they want to be a rock star, or a fireman, or drive a train, whatever it might be.
But as they start to mature, those innocent childhood aspirations change for 99.9 per cent of them. However, for some the vision is maintained. They know exactly what they want from a very early age and they will move mountains to see those dreams realised.
At the age of 10, a girl from the north of England had a dream to be a professional tennis player. She wanted that more than anything, but Francesca Jones was told she would never and could never, play tennis and certainly not professionally.
She has only three fingers and a thumb on each hand and a total of seven toes. This young lady has endured multiple surgeries in an effort to help her with corrected movement as she struggles with her balance due to the lack of toes.
Sixty total points won. Eighteen winners recorded to just three unforced errors. A 90% first serve winning percentage. Jones dominated from start to finish en route to a 6-1, 6-0 victory over China’s Jia-Jing Lu.
The win marks the first time the 20-year-old Jones qualified into the main draw of a Grand Slam. It’s the culmination of perseverance, determination, and passion for tennis, starting from an early age in her home town of Leeds, United Kingdom.
“My parents are my biggest inspiration,” Jones said when discussing the importance of family throughout her tennis journey. “Their values I hold dear to my heart. They’ve worked extremely hard and invested a lot in me. I am extremely grateful.”
Her parents researched organized activities for their 5-year-old daughter to enroll in during the summer. They came across the Heaton Tennis and Squash Club in Bradford, which hosted a four-day tennis camp.