- ‘I know what the level is’ says player who overcame barriers
- Emotional call from parents who she lived away from for years
Britain’s Francesca Jones has qualified for the Australian Open main draw, dismantling Lu Jia-Jing of China 6-0 6-1 in just 61 minutes to reach a Grand Slam main draw for the first time in her career.
Despite being one of the lowest-ranked players in the field and only making the cut-off in December after some withdrawals, the 20-year-old marked her first appearance in an overseas Grand Slam qualifying draw by defeating three higher-ranked players and producing her best tennis under the notorious pressure of the final qualifying round. The victory has secured Jones at least AUS$100,000 (£56,556), by far the biggest earnings of her career. It also led to an emotional phone call with her parents, who she moved away from aged 9-16 to join the Sanchez-Casal academy in Barcelona.