Loser Fleming cheered by partner Hutchins' fight

 

Colin Fleming lost his first-round doubles match in the Australian Open with Jamie Murray today but said afterwards that the approach of his regular partner, Ross Hutchins, in fighting cancer was proving "really inspirational".

In the wake of a 7-5, 7-5 defeat by Michael Kohlmann and Jarkko Nieminen, Fleming said that he had been in contact every day with Hutchins, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma three weeks ago and has just begun a course of chemotherapy.

"It's really inspirational how well he's doing," Fleming said. "He started his treatment on the 10th. He said his treatment is fine, but he said he's feeling a little bit nauseous. I think he's tired and he's enjoying being at home to rest up.

"But it's amazing. He's been nothing but positive and strong and wishing everyone to do well. He's not begrudging of anyone who's still playing. He's wishing everyone well – and everyone wishes him well too."

Fleming, the world No 27 in doubles, and Murray, the world No 75, used to be regular partners, but are now likely to go their separate ways. Because of Murray's low ranking they would not make it into the fields for Masters Series events, which is one of Fleming's aims this year.

Both players said they would be considering their options in terms of partners in the weeks ahead. Fleming is determined to resume his partnership with Hutchins, though that is unlikely to happen before the end of the year. Novak Djokovic, the defending singles champion and world No 1, gave a demonstration of the gap between the current top players and the next generation when he beat Ryan Harrison 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 in just 91 minutes. Harrison, a 20-year-old American, is regarded as one of the best young players in the game.

"Tennis has changed," Djokovic said. "It's much more demanding nowadays with the competition that is around the tour and many quality players. It's more difficult to make that breakthrough for a youngster. He [Harrison] needs patience and he needs to believe in himself and wait for a chance.

"Mentally he's probably going to go out on the court knowing he doesn't have anything to lose. He's going to try to smack serves and forehands. I went with that kind of mindset on the court, just trying to play as sharp as possible from the start, and I've done so."

Harrison conceded he felt powerless against a man with no perceptible frailty. He said: "I'm wanting to step up, but I am running side to side and I look like I'm on a string."

Suggested Topics
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk