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Hutchins targets 2014 return after cancer diagnosis

ESPN staff
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Ross Hutchins has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma © PA Photos
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Ross Hutchins has set his sights on returning to tennis in time for next year's Australian Open after being diagnosed with cancer.

The British doubles star confirmed at the weekend that he will undergo a course of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Andy Murray, a close friend of Hutchins, dedicated his Brisbane International victory on Sunday to a "sick friend", and messages of support have since flooded in for the popular 27-year-old.

Former British No. 1 Andrew Castle, a close friend of the family who played Davis Cup tennis under the captaincy of Hutchins' father Paul, revealed the 28th-ranked doubles player was upbeat and targeting a return to action in 2014.

"I was in the changing rooms at Wimbledon on Sunday when I found out," Castle said in the Daily Telegraph. "It came as a terrible shock. Ross looks fantastically well, so fit and strong and handsome like he is. But then we're talking about cancer, and cancer is indiscriminate.

"Ross will be on chemo for a long time, but the prognosis is very good. Just about everybody who gets this type of cancer at such a young age recovers. There wasn't too much talk about Ross' tennis career. Of course he's going to have to miss the Australian Open, but he said he will be there next year, with a big smile on his face.

"For me, it really doesn't matter about the tennis career. Noone knows if Ross will have the strength to come back next year. But you do know that he will get every support from his friends and family."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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