Jones bidding to back up world title success

Worthing wheelchair tennis star Lauren Jones competes in her first overseas tournament of 2018 on Thursday
Worthing wheelchair tennis star Lauren Jones competes in her first overseas tournament of 2018 on Thursday

Worthing wheelchair tennis star Lauren Jones is attempting to build on an impressive maiden world ranking title win of 2018 as she bids for glory in Switzerland on Thursday.

The 22-year-old has been buoyed by her women’s doubles win at the recent Preston Indoor tournament.

Jones’ schedule now sees her travel to compete in the Swiss ITF3 Biel-Bien Indoor tournament, a first taste of competitive action overseas this year for the Worthing talent.

In a rematch of the 2017 final, Jones and Dutch partner Michaela Spaanstra defeated top seeds Britain’s Louise Hunt and American Dana Mathewson 7-5, 3-6, (10-7) to lift the title in Preston.

Jones began the season with a new wheelchair and is keen to put it to the test in another tournament.

”I had my new chair for one full week of training before Preston, so it’s all still quite new, but it’s making a huge difference,” said Jones.

“Now I can focus on things like my serve. I’m in the right position to hit the ball as I want to, so I can work with my gym team to get stronger now that the chair is giving me everything I need to support me. I had a training block leading up to Preston to focus on a few things I’m changing in my game. It’s been a while since I played my last competitive match, so I improved throughout the week and obviously won the doubles again with Micha (Spaanstra). That’s a great result against the top seeds and it was nice because I didn’t change anything to what I’d been training and it’s great to see all that’s worked.”

Jones was unable to back up her Preston doubles success as she suffered an early exit from the Bolton Indoor event just a few days later.

Eventual semi-finalist, Italian Giulia Capocci, overcame Jones. The duo then teamed up in the doubles competition, suffering a quarter-final defeat.

Jones is on the back of one of her most successful years in the sport.

The Worthing wheelchair star scored three international singles and four doubles titles across 2017. On top of that, Jones won a hat-trick of national events with the aim to continue ti win tournaments this year.

She added: “Last year was probably the first in my career I haven’t had a significant injury, so I was able to step up with my game a lot more and learn a lot more and just develop more as a player. With my new chair now and new changes in my game in the early stages, it’s a case of continuing to develop my game I know I have weapons but I need to be more consistent with the changes we’re working on.”