Francesca Jones puts up a brave fight in the Copa Colsanitas semi-finals
Francesca Jones, a budding tennis star from Britain, put up a spirited performance in the semi-finals of the Copa Colsanitas in Bogota but eventually succumbed to the might of Tatjana Maria in straight sets. Jones, ranked No. 817 in the world, had already caused quite a few upsets en route to the semi-finals, defeating seeds Nuria Parrizas Diaz and Laura Pigossi. Unfortunately, a rain delay affected her momentum and she was unable to create history by reaching her maiden WTA final.
However, Jones, who was born with a congenital condition that gives her three fingers and a thumb on each hand, three toes on one foot and four toes on the other, displayed remarkable grit and determination against her German opponent.
Maria, seeded second and ranked No. 66 in the world, got off to a fantastic start, breaking Jones early to take a 3-0 lead. With Maria looking in fine form, it seemed like Jones was on track to a comprehensive defeat. However, Jones showed nerves of steel as she broke back and held serve to reduce the deficit to 3-5. However, Maria was able to wrap up the first set in 44 minutes.
At the start of the second set, Jones, a recipient of LTA’s Pro Scholarship Programme, produced a crucial hold and even broke Maria’s serve in the next game to lead 2-0. But Maria was not to be denied and she broke Jones back immediately. With both players holding serve, the score stood at 4-3 to Jones when rain forced the players off the court. Tournament organisers announced that play would not resume until at least 3.45 pm local time.
When the match eventually resumed, it was Maria who managed to gain the upper hand, breaking Jones in the ninth game and then serving out the match for a 6-3 6-4 victory.
Maria will now face either Russian Kamilla Rakhimova or American Peyton Stearns in the final.
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