AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2014
Fleming & Hutchins Claim Emotional Win
by ATP Staff|
British duo Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins advanced to the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 win over Marinko Matosevic and Michal Przysiezny. For Hutchins, the win had added significance in being his first victory since returning to the courts after a year out battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
“It's an amazing feeling to be back, and especially to get our first win since coming back in 2014,” said Hutchins. He and Fleming reunited at the start of 2014 with opening-round exits in Brisbane and Auckland.
“I think we have played some good tennis throughout this year so far, but unfortunately we lost our first two matches,” said Hutchins. “My level probably wasn't as high as I hoped it had been. But I think we did well to dig out a win today. It was actually brilliant to be honest, and I'm loving the feeling right now.”
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"When we won I felt a bit emotional myself," admitted Fleming. "I don't know how Ross felt, but just to get that first win under our belt. Obviously we had played a few matches, but the first win. It's just a real sort of release, and I'm looking forward to playing again the next couple of days."
Before Hutchins was struck by cancer one year ago, he and Fleming had enjoyed a career-best season in 2012, winning two titles and narrowly missing out on a spot in the elite eight-team field at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Thankful for an outflowing of support from the tennis community, including a heartfelt dedication by Wimbledon champion and countryman Andy Murray, Hutchins hopes to not be tiptoed around, picking up where they left off in 2012 and setting expectations no lower than a Grand Slam trophy.
“It's meant a lot to me to have the support," said Hutchins. "At the same time, I want to be treated as another player who has just as much chance to win or lose and to be ruthless out there with these other guys. I just want to become a better competitor and to win matches on our own, not for people taking pity on us, which hopefully they don't. We can beat them on our own merits.
“Absolutely we're aiming to go for the long haul. If our level is good enough, we always felt we can go deep in Slams.”
Hutchins and Fleming await in the second round for the winners of seventh seeds Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and the team of Rameez Junaid and Adrian Mannarino.