Heartbreak for Francesca Jones at Viking Open, but youngster insists ‘I will be persistent’

Francesca Jones in action

Francesca Jones is not prepared to give up searching for ways to help her overcome the extraordinary challenges she faces after her Viking Open hopes in Nottingham ended in heartbreak.

The 20-year-old suffers from a congenital condition which means she has three fingers and a thumb on each hand, three toes on one foot and four toes on the other.

That has not stopped her from making good progress in the professional game, as she made her Grand Slam debut at this year’s Australian Open, but the side effects of her syndrome can be a problem.

Jones was on course for the second round in Nottingham as she led Georgina Garcia Perez 3-1 in the deciding set of their first-round match.

But a medical timeout for the Spaniard resulted in Jones suffering from full body cramps and she could not recover as Garcia Perez claimed a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win.

It has happened before and Jones, who could be handed a Wimbledon wild card next week, is determined to get to the bottom of the problem.

“This is something that my team have been working on to get to the bottom of it,” she said. “You have to appreciate I load my feet in a different way, I hold the racket in a different way.

Francesca Jones in pain

Jones suffered from cramp at the end of her match (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“I am not going to say this is new for me, it’s not. It is very inconvenient that it has happened today and very hurtful and upsetting it happened when I was cruising in that third set.

“I was feeling comfortable. It is not new and we are trying to get to the bottom of it.

“I can’t leave any stone unturned, I have to keep getting to the bottom of things that come up with me and keep trying to find a way to overcome them.

“I know what position I am in, I know it might take me a little bit longer than others to get to where I know I can be because of the challenges I face but I have got to be patient and try and be objective and keep going.

“That is difficult right now but I will be persistent.”

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