OXENHOPE tennis player Francesca Jones refused to blame tiredness as her Wimbledon girls singles bid faltered at the first hurdle.

Looking to build upon her second round appearance last year, Jones took to the court to face Xin Yu Wang of China.

Her opponent is seeded tenth this year although, after rising to a career high of 31 this year and making the semi-finals of the French Open, expectation levels had been raised for the Brit.

Unfortunately it was not to be for 16-year-old Jones – who has a rare condition called Ectrodactyly Ectodermal Dysplasia, or EEC syndrome, meaning she has four fingers on her right hand and seven toes in total – as she lost out 2-6, 6-1, 6-4.

“I started off well, I got into it quicker than she did. Playing at Wimbledon, if you are a Brit there is that extra grit at the start of the match,” said Jones, who is back in action in the girls doubles today after rain delayed yesterday's match.

“The scoreline is quite deceptive, the games were very close and it was a match about who could get the biggest shots in first.

“I haven’t had a day off since two weeks before the French Open. Last week at Roehampton, I reached the quarter-finals and beat the number one in the world. I’ve been struggling with tendinitis in my groin and also a bit of a stomach illness. But it’s not an excuse.

“Losing at Wimbledon is the most painful loss for me. I have waited a year, the excitement to come on these courts is next level.”

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