Wheelchair tennis star Jones excited about Junior Masters

AFTER a highly successful 2011, Worthing wheelchair tennis player Lauren Jones is set for another important date this week at the Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters in Tarbes, France.

Jones, who won her first senior national doubles title and her first senior international doubles title last year, qualified for her debut at the premier wheelchair tennis tournament for players aged 18-and-under after ending 2011 at number six in the international girls singles junior ranking.

She will play defending champion, Angelica Bernal, of Colombia, American Shelby Baron and Turkey’s Busra Un in a series of round-robin matches until Saturday, when the top two after the pool phase of the girls’ singles will go forward to Sunday’s final.

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Jones will also pair up with one of her singles opponents for the girls’ doubles.

The prestigious event takes place annually, alongside the final four days of Les Petits As, a tournament for able-bodied juniors, where Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Kim Clijsters were all champions or finalists in the earlier stages of their careers.

Jones, who has only been playing wheelchair tennis since early 2010, said: “I’m very excited to have qualified for the Junior Masters.

“I’ve heard lots about it from Jordanne Whiley and Louise Hunt, two of Britain’s top senior players, who I was fortunate to gain my biggest doubles titles with last year, so I can’t wait to play there.”