WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN 2012
Fleming/Hutchins Aim To Take Down Murray
by Matt Fitzgerald|
British doubles pair Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins have established themselves as a doubles team on the rise the past two seasons. The two are currently ranked 12th in the ATP Doubles Team Rankings Race To London, putting themselves in contention to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
With an opportunity to play the larger ATP World Tour events on a regular basis, Fleming and Hutchins are eager to make a push so they can reach the season finale at The O2 arena.
Speaking with ATPWorldTour.com at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, the two talk about their hopes in dethroning Andy Murray in Fantasy Football this year, their favourite Team GB moments in the London 2012 Olympics and more in this feature Q&A.
Are you ready for the new Fantasy Football season? And are you confident you can finish higher than Andy Murray this season?
Fleming: We’re in the middle of forming our teams. I’m not very confident in beating Andy to be honest. He has a knack for it. I think he spends more time on it than anyone possibly ever could. He seems to have a knack for getting people to trade with him. And he seems to have sources. I think he’s in touch with some of the managers on the teams or something. But it’s going to be good fun and I look forward to trying to take him down.
So is Andy like the Daniel Nestor of NFL Fantasy Football, being extremely dedicated and devoting his off-court time to following the English Premier League?
Fleming: Dedicated doesn’t even begin to describe Andy.
Hutchins: And the fact is, Nestor is the only one who says he’s the king of NFL, because he doesn’t actually do very well. I’ve beaten him in NBA basketball a few times, so I think that’s self praise from Nestor.
How much focus are you putting on the Race To London? You're 12th in the standings. Do you think you can make a strong push to qualify?
Hutchins: It’s been a goal of ours the whole year. Unfortunately, we missed the clay-court season, which included three Masters 1000s and a 500 event. But we’re still in the running and there are some big tournaments to come. When’s there’s still a Grand Slam, three Masters 1000s and some 500s, there’s a lot of points up for grabs. We’re in a decent position. We’d like to be higher but we’re keen on it and hope we can make a late dash to the line.
Has Jonathan Marray given you any advice on what it takes to win a Grand Slam title?
Fleming: Not yet. Maybe when the US Open comes around, we’ll have a chat with him and see if we can draw any inspiration. It was obviously an amazing achievement for him and Freddy, so hopefully they can push on, keep doing well and make use of their higher rankings in the big tournaments.
Which sports did you enjoy watching during the Olympics? Can you pick a standout moment from Team GB's performances?
Hutchins: I think everyone enjoyed all the marquee sports. It was very well publicised around the world. The swimming, cycling and athletics were hugely popular. For us back home, Bradley Wiggins, after all the hype of winning the Tour de France the week before was such a huge moment. And to come back and win the time trials going second last and putting in a time that no one could come close to was for me, outstanding. I think the whole British team needs a lot of credit and congratulatory messages and all the accolades they can get for doing well.
And you Colin?
Fleming: I’m just trying to figure out if congratulatory is a word.
Fleming: It’s a good one then. For me, being a Scot, obviously Andy winning the tennis was amazing. If I had to pick an event outside of tennis, it would be cycling too, but the indoor track cycling. I’d say Chris Hoy, whose now regarded as our greatest Olympian. I find it so interesting with these sports where the Olympics is everything for them. Tennis is a little different, because we play so many events. But for them to have these every four year cycles, deal with the pressure and produce on a short time scale, it’s such a great achievement.
Both of you are inside the Top 30 and should have the opportunity to play Masters 1000 events regularly. Do you get excited to hit new stops on the ATP World Tour and compete in these big events or do feel more pressure to perform well with so many points on the line and stronger competition?
Fleming: Ross has been to a few of these events before but for me, they’re all new. It’s really nice to come to fresh events. Here in Cincinnati, I’ve heard they’ve done a lot of upgrades and you have everything you need as a player. Like you said, the level is higher, but that’s where we want to be playing, testing ourselves against the best teams in the world as often as possible. That’s really why we play the game. We need to keep improving and try to keep improving.
And Ross, it’s your first time back in Cincinnati since 2009. What do you think of the enhancements they've integrated here?
Hutchins: They’ve done great changes here. I don’t know how much was invested, but they’ve done wonders. It’s a fantastic event. The player area is brilliant; the transport and car rentals are good. There’s golf across the road. They just tick every box. It’s very impressive to know what they’ve done and come see it firsthand.
Speaking of golf, Rory McIlroy is in town. Did you follow his PGA Championship win? And will you hit him up for some golf tips if you cross paths?
Hutchins: I wish. I don’t play that much golf. Colin does. The way Colin’s been telling everyone he’s been playing, he doesn’t seem to need tips (laughter) but I’m sure he’d love to ask him.
Fleming: It was a little overshadowed by the Olympics coming to a finale, but I still followed it. It was great to see Rory win his second major. I just love the way he plays. He’s so powerful and talented. I’d love to get some tips, I need the tips. But I’m sure he has other things to do than speak with me about golf.
I see you have a cookie there Colin. Do you have a sweet tooth, are you rewarding yourself or do you need the sugar?
It’s to keep my energy up. That’s my only excuse for it.