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Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge

La Cartuja Stadium, Seville, Spain 13 - 20 November 2024

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Fran Jones in training at the Billie Jean King Cup in France
GB Teams

“I was absolutely buzzing” – Fran Jones is ready to go after first Billie Jean King Cup call up


Earlier this week, 23-year-old Fran Jones was confirmed as the fifth member of the Lexus GB Billie Jean King Cup team heading to Le Portel to face France in the 2024 Qualifiers.

It’s the first time that Jones has been called up to the squad, coming off the back of a career-best result on the clay at the San Luis Open in Mexico – making her first WTA 125 final.

It was here that Jones got the call up from Captain Anne Keothavong that she would be part of her team in France.

“It was quite a unique experience,” Jones said in our exclusive interview. “I was literally getting out the shower in Mexico trying to make my flight to Colombia, so it was a pretty quick call!

“Of course I was absolutely buzzing – I played Junior Billie Jean King Cup and it was one of the best experiences I look back on from my junior career.

“I’m very patriotic so as soon as I got the call, I was ecstatic to get out here and also be in a different atmosphere and have a new experience.

Fran Jones on her call up to the Lexus GB Billie Jean King Cup Team | GB vs France 2024 | LTA

“I think I knew at some stage I would make the team, whether it was this year or in the following years. Unfortunately, it couldn’t happen during covid and I wasn’t able to make it. Although I wasn’t expecting it this week, I was definitely hoping that it would happen.

Of all the players in the squad, Jones is arguably one of the more natural competing on clay.

The young Brit from Bradford has won all six of her ITF singles titles on clay and could serve as a secret weapon for the Brits over the weekend.

“I’ve grown up on clay,” she explained. “Compared to most of the Brits it was the surface that I’ve trained on the most. My advice for anyone would be to train on clay as much as you can at a younger age because you have to learn a completely different skillset.

“In terms of recent results, I’m just playing tennis at the moment, which compared to recent years is already successful. For me now, it’s just about cumulative load and trying to back up weeks. My focus is very much on the day-by-day and the week-by-week at the moment.”

While she’s joining up with the team for the first time – and will be looking to gain her LTA Colour Holder status this weekend – Jones says that the environment on and off the court has felt very familiar so far.

“It’s been great,” she said. “I get on with everyone and I’m pretty easy going like that. I’m probably the joker of the pack!

“I’ve known the girls for a long time – Emma and I are a similar age – and the others I’ve hit with a lot so it’s very easy to slip into the team.

“I’ve known Anne (Keothavong) for a few years as well and spent some time with her during my junior career. We both know how the dynamic needs to fit.

“In terms of the rest of the coaching team Claire (Curran) has been one of the closest people to me in my career and Iain (Bates) I have a really good relationship with so I’m very comfortable with my surroundings here.”

Jones and the rest of the Lexus Great Britain Billie Jean King Cup team take on France from 12-13 April for a place in the 2024 Finals.

You can watch all the action live on BBC SportBBC iPlayer. You can also watch Friday's action via the red button. All matches are also available on Tennis Channel International.

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