Andy Murray fought back tears Sunday while dedicating his Brisbane International title to close friend and fellow ATP pro Ross Hutchins, who was diagnosed with cancer last month. Hutchins has served as Murray's hitting partner, occasional doubles partner and Davis Cup teammate.
“I’d like to dedicate this victory to one of my best friends," Murray said after defeating Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (0), 6-4 in the final. "He’s back home watching. You’re going to get through it.”
A few hours after Murray won Brisbane for the second year in a row, the 27-year-old Hutchins announced on Twitter that he would be taking leave from the tour after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. Hodgkin's is the same form of cancer that has kept the WTA's Alisa Kleybanova off tour for the last two years, save for a brief comeback attempt in Miami last March.
Hutchins, who won two doubles titles in 2012, also released a statement: "Over the Christmas period I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. This came as a shock but I am ready to move forward with the necessary treatment. I have the best medical support at Royal Marsden and very close family and friends supporting me. I look forward to getting over this hurdle and getting back to the ATP Tour and full steam ahead with my tennis career.”
You can see just how good of friends Murray and Hutchins are in this interview clip from the 2011 U.S. Open. Have you ever seen Murray that fun and relaxed in front of the camera?