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Tennis stars pledge support for Hutchins

ESPN staff
January 7, 2013 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »
Andy Murray dedicates win to Ross Hutchins

Tennis stars from the ATP and WTA have offered their support and prayers for Ross Hutchins, who revealed on Sunday that he has cancer.

The Wimbledon-based British Davis Cup doubles specialist, a close friend and training partner of US Open champion Andy Murray, took to Twitter to confirm that he was the 'sick friend' that a tearful Murray played tribute to after winning the Brisbane International.

Hutchins, whose career has blossomed in recent seasons since partnering fellow Briton Colin Fleming, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, in December.

"Over the Christmas period I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma," Hutchins told the Lawn Tennis Association website. "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."

Fellow pros have taken to Twitter pass on post their best wishes. British Davis Cup teammate James Ward simply wrote: "All the best Rosco. Get well soon."

"Say a prayer for @Roscohutchins," Indian doubles star Mahesh Bhupathi tweeted. "Found out today he is battling cancer, has promised to be back on court fast and strong like the bull he is."

American Rajeev Ram added: "Time for the tennis community to come together and support @RoscoHutchins. We are with you the whole way buddy..get well soon," while commentator and former pro Justin Gimelstob urged Hutchins to "hang in there buddy. We are all thinking about and praying for you."

Sergiy Stakhovsky ā€¸called on Hutchins to "stay strong my friend!! We all hope to see you back on court soon!! It's a battle in which we are all on your side!!"

From the women's game, Austria's Tamira Paszek posted: "We are all praying for you Ross! Sending you lots of love and positive thoughts... You will get through this, be strong," while Germany's Julia Goerges added "all the best to you...you will get through it!"

On Sunday LTA chief executive Roger Draper said: "Everyone in British Tennis is behind Ross. He is a true ambassador for the sport both on and off the court, and I have no doubt he will overcome this setback. It's important that we give Ross and his family the privacy they need during this challenging time."

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