Andy Murray's 'sick friend' Ross Hutchins reveals shock cancer diagnosis

World No 3 pays tribute to Davis Cup team-mate who will take break from game to battle illness

Ross Hutchins, the world No 28 in doubles and a regular member of Britain's Davis Cup team, has been diagnosed with cancer. The 27-year-old from Wimbledon revealed yesterday that he is suffering from Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph glands.

Hutchins disclosed his illness after Andy Murray dedicated his victory over Grigor Dimitrov in yesterday's final at the Brisbane International to "one of my best friends back home". His voice cracking with emotion at the presentation ceremony, Murray had added: "You're going to be OK. You're going to get through."

Hours later, Hutchins revealed on Twitter that he would be "away from tennis for a while" after receiving the diagnosis over Christmas. The disease often affects young people but can be treated very successfully if it is caught early. Hutchins, a gentle character who is hugely popular off the court, added: "I am doing well, very positive with excellent medical support, friends and family around me. Looking forward to being back on the court soon."

Hutchins said in a statement: "This came as a shock but I am ready to move forward with the necessary treatment. I look forward to getting over this hurdle and getting back to the ATP tour and full steam ahead with my tennis career."

Roger Draper, the Lawn Tennis Association's chief executive, said: "Everyone in British tennis is behind Ross. He is a true ambassador for the sport both on and off the court, and I have no doubt he will overcome this setback."

The son of Paul Hutchins, a former British Davis Cup captain, Ross is one of Murray's closest friends. He has accompanied the Scot at his Florida training camps, regularly watches his matches on tour and has sometimes partnered him in doubles.

His own career has blossomed since he joined forces with Colin Fleming two years ago. Fleming and Hutchins have won three titles together on the main tour and went close to claiming one of the places in the elite eight-team field at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London in November.

Having made his Davis Cup debut five years ago, Hutchins has become a fixture in the British team. Fleming and Hutchins have established themselves as the first-choice doubles pair, winning their last three rubbers.

Murray's feelings were evident after his 7-6, 6-4 victory over Dimitrov, although he declined at the time to reveal the identity of someone he described only as "a sick friend".

Despite his concerns for Hutchins, the world No 3 is clearly in confident mood as he heads for Melbourne, where the Australian Open begins in seven days' time.

After his US Open triumph last year Murray will start as one of the event's favourites. "I do feel more relaxed one week out from a slam than I have done previously, that's for sure, so I hope that's a good sign," he said.

Dimitrov, a 21-year-old Bulgarian whose stylish game is regularly compared to Roger Federer's, showed no nerves in his first final, racing into a 5-2 lead with his attacking ground strokes. Murray recovered to win the first set tie-break 7-0 and claimed the 25th title of his career and his second in a row at Brisbane by winning the last three games of the match.

"I got off to not the best start and he was playing very aggressive, and by the end of the first set I had turned the tables and I was the one to make him do a lot of running," Murray said.

"It's a change of mentality really, and that doesn't happen in a few weeks. It's taken time to believe that that's the right thing to do, to be aggressive. That was what I worked on during December, and I worked on it for the majority of last year as well. I did it well today."

Murray has grown accustomed to starting the year in good form. He reached the Qatar Open final in the first week of the season in 2007 and also won the title there in both 2008 and 2009.

In 2010 Murray and Laura Robson lost in the final of the Hopman Cup mixed-team event in Perth and the Scot won all three of his singles matches there the following year.

Murray, who will spend this week practising in Melbourne, also has a fine record at the Australian Open. He reached the final in 2010 and 2011 and made the semi-finals last year.

Suggested Topics
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Commonwealth GamesEntertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
The actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game