Former world No. 26 doubles competitor Ross Hutchins has revealed that he is preparing to return to active tennis competition for the first time in 12 months following a life-threatening battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Now, with his cancer in remission since July, Hutchins is scheduled to return at the Brisbane International later this month.
Following the news on the remission, the British doubles competitor quickly returned to the court, preparing to achieve a set of goals which include attempting to secure a spot on the Great Britain Davis Cup team for their World Group tie against the USA. Hutchins would also like to get a chance to qualify for the Barclays World Tour Finals.
“It’s something that’s a big goal of ours and something we’ve planned all year.” Hochins told the BBC. “We’re looking to 2014 with a real thirst for success, desperate to take on the world and almost come back with a bang. I hope my experiences over the past 12 months can help give us that 10% extra to take us from a top-10 team to a really, really top team who are pushing for Grand Slam titles and Masters Series titles.
“We’ve beaten pretty much everyone in the world and I do feel like we can be number one in the world.”
While Hutchins is proud of his recovery, he admits that British no. 1 Andy Murray’s historic win at Wimbledon this year takes the cake.
“It was amazing to become healthy, but that was the most incredible moment of the year. Cancer and the whole treatment, you forget about it. We want to be the number one team in the world,” he said. “I know a lot of people say that but we feel like we have the gameplan and we’re still relatively young in the game of doubles.”
While it was lucky that doctors were able to find the cancer, the disease had been inside him for up to a year and a half and was worse than initially feared – it was at stage four out of four, which is the most severe stage. This set about a two-month course of chemotherapy.
“It was so lucky we actually found that little bit of pneumonia – otherwise they would never have scanned the upper section of the chest, which is where we found the enlarged lymph nodes.”
With all things considered, Hutchins is thankful for his current position, particularly considering how much it differs from 12 months ago.
“All of these things are so exciting because I know how different it can be – and how different it was 12 months ago,” Hutchins concluded. “Now I’m back here again 12 months later, being healthy and couldn’t be happier. I feel on top of the world and loving every second of it.