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“I want to be the best in the world” Inspirational 15 Year Old Tennis Player Who Overcame Adversity

“I want to be the best in the world” Inspirational 15 Year Old Tennis Player Who Overcame Adversity

Francesca Jones, a 15-year-old girl who was born with Ectrodactyly Ectodermal Dysplasia (EED), has been described as the most inspirational player competing at the girls’ singles championship, Wimbledon, London, The Daily Telegraph reports.

The teenage girl, according to ‘The Daily Telegraph’, was born with the rare condition, that caused her hands and feet to develop abnormally. She has only a thumb and three fingers on each hand as well as three toes on her right foot and four on the other. As can be expected, her grip is affected by her misshapen hands, while her balance is affected by the number of toes she has.

Yet, the determined teenage girl has never used her condition as an excuse to hold back. She was enrolled in a tennis academy in Barcelona when she was only nine, and she has lived there by herself for the past 6 and a half years, sources say.

“My syndrome is something that has really helped me become the person I am today. To a certain extent, I am happy that I have it because it has made me who I am. Hopefully it is going to help me achieve a successful future,” Jones told ‘The Daily Telegraph.’

She further said, “I would not have started playing tennis as competitively as I do now or have the same motivation to do what I want to do in the future without it. It makes a big difference mentally, which makes losing matches like this, even if it is at junior level, quite frustrating.”

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Although she has undergone several surgeries, including three bouts of wrist surgery in the past 12 months after the bone started to tear through the tendon, Jones insists that EED’s challenges have given her the mental strength to withstand whatever obstacles she comes across on a tennis court.

She said, “I don’t mind being defined by it because it is something that I am actually proud of. I am not going to let it get me down in any way because it is not a negative. Anyone who has any type of syndrome, try your best at whatever you are doing.

“I have had so many people criticise me and say nasty things. That just motivates me more. You have got to keep on using it to your advantage. If people can see that I am where I am now and hopefully where I will be in the future with my condition then I am proving a point.”

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Jones had earlier in the week, on Tuesday, lost to fellow tennis player, Kayla Jones, in the second round of the girls’ singles championship, but she remains determined. Before returning to Barcelona, the young teenage girl will play with Ali Collins in the junior girls’ doubles. She will still be eligible to compete in the girls’ competition next year, according to reports.

She said, “I want to be the best in the world. I just want people to know that you can do anything. Everything is willpower, everything is mental, everything in my life has always been mental to get through matches … I have always wanted to be the best in the world. Winning Wimbledon is definitely high on the list.”

Photo credit: PA

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