British tennis player Fran Jones has earned a wild card for the Wimbledon qualifying tournament despite having a rare genetic disorder that includes abnormalities affecting the limbs.
The 18-year-old talent, who has eight fingers and seven toes, was born with Ectrodactyly Ectodermal Dysplasia (EEC), a condition in which part or all of the central digits are missing.
"I’ve got three toes on my right foot, four on my left. I was born with a cleft palate and have four fingers on each hand," she said.
Despite having physical peculiarities that affect Jones’ racket grip, the athlete has made significant progress by becoming one of the youngest players in the UK top 25.
At the age of nine, she moved to Spain to start training at the famous Sanchez-Casal academy, which is attended by tennis giants Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal.
Wimbledon: Tennis player Fran Jones has eight fingers, seven toes and earns wildcard: A teenage tennis star hopes to go all the way to the top after earning a Wimbledon wildcard - despite having only eight fingers and seven toes.Fran Jones, 18, was born… https://t.co/jDUMr2MaF4pic.twitter.com/qCqoh8PWwo— David Blackwell (@rugbymad) June 24, 2019
Having undergone numerous surgeries on her limbs, Jones is determined to take the tennis world by storm, ignoring the pessimistic predictions of doctors who had said that a professional sporting career would be impossible due to her genetic disease.
"I know that I’ve struggled so far throughout my years in tennis, and I’m not expecting to just see rainbows and unicorns when I hopefully make it to the top," Jones said.
"But I don’t think anyone should be limited by other people’s opinions."