Hutchins eyes Davis Cup spot

Salisbury Journal: Ross Hutchins will play his first ATP Tour event for 14 months in Brisbane Ross Hutchins will play his first ATP Tour event for 14 months in Brisbane

Ross Hutchins has his sights set on a place in Great Britain's Davis Cup team to take on the United States as he prepares for his comeback from cancer.

The 28-year-old missed the whole of the 2013 season after being diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma last December but was told he was in remission in July following six months of chemotherapy.

Hutchins is spending this week training at La Manga Club in southern Spain and will play his first ATP Tour event for 14 months in Brisbane in 10 days' time with doubles partner Colin Fleming.

The Australian Open follows later in January before Great Britain play their first match back in the Davis Cup World Group in five years in San Diego.

There is no shortage of competition for the doubles spots, with six British players ranked in the world's top 100, while Andy Murray partnered Fleming during Britain's play-off win over Croatia in September.

Hutchins, who is currently unranked, said: "We have a goal to play in America. We want to make the captain have a tough decision.

"We've got a lot of good doubles players. A lot will depend if Andy wants to play the doubles match, and if so then great. Andy's probably our best doubles player, and if he wants to play then we're all trying to play with Andy.

"If not, then Colin and I have hopefully got our name in the ring. He's on an eight-match winning run and we're on a three-match winning run in Davis Cup, so there's no reason why we can't be there."

Hutchins and Fleming began playing together full-time in 2011 and have won three ATP Tour titles and reached two grand slam quarter-finals.

In 2012 they were alternates for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, and the day Hutchins told his friend he had cancer, Fleming promised their partnership would continue.

"That was the biggest thing that he could have said to me," said Hutchins.

"I really enjoy playing with Colin, I think we have a bond that I haven't felt with other people.

"We're very similar, we've been friends for a long time. He's got a lovely wife who gets on well with my fiancee, and it's really enjoyable for me.

"Playing with Colin has helped me rekindle my love for the game. Not that I lost it, but I was away for so long and you end up wondering how you're going to react when you're back on court."

Fleming spent most of 2013 playing with former Wimbledon doubles champion Jonny Marray and reached his third grand slam quarter-final at the US Open.

Now he hopes to better that with Hutchins, and the Scot said: "We don't want to be the nearly men.

"We're trying to do everything to go one step further and then another step and hopefully try to win one one day. We've just got to prepare as best we can and go into every slam believing in ourselves."

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