“I’d like to dedicate this victory to one of my best friends. He’s back home watching. You’re going to get through it."—Andy Murray, in his Brisbane title speech
Some things supersede what is, in the end, mere sport. Personal health in life itself is assuredly one of them. Murray choked up this past Sunday when he sent support and warmth in the direction of "a sick friend" at home in the United Kingdom. It was revealed hours later that the aforementioned cohort was Ross Hutchins, a standout doubles player with partner and fellow Brit Colin Fleming, and that he has Hodgkin's lymphoma. Hutchins himself was emotional about Murray's shout-out, saying, "It brought a tear to my eye. He has been very involved talking to me every day, with lots of encouragement." (Update: Hutchins hopes to return to pro tennis after six months of chemotherapy.)
Last we addressed Hutchins at the Spin, he was baking cookies with Alexandr Dolgopolov, who was recently diagnosed with Gilbert's syndrome. Little did anyone, let alone Hutchins himself, know what would befall him. And yet. Here's hoping that he destroys this insidious cancer, and returns at the peak of his doubles prowess when he can.
A litany of tennis players showed support for Hutchins via Twitter in the past week. Tennis Grandstand has a sterling recap of those interactions, including the likes of Mardy Fish, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Julia Goerges, Sania Mirza, Lisa Raymond, Justin Gimelstob, Brad Gilbert, and fellow Brit Elena Baltacha.
You also can offer encouragement to the 27-year-old doubles star, one who claimed two titles in 2012 and appeared in two more finals with Fleming. Send a tweet to @RoscoHutchins to share your thoughts.
—Jonathan Scott (@jonscott9)