HE is as close to Andy Murray off the tennis court as he is on it, after forging a friendship when they were youngsters making their way in the game.
But as he faces his greatest battle to date, one of Murray’s best friends and sometime doubles partner has told of “very special” support he is receiving from the world number three as he fights Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Ross Hutchins, 28, said his relationship with the reigning US Open champion has grown even closer since he made news of his cancer public earlier this year.
In a interview, Hutchins said Murray was the first person outside his family he told about his health problems.
Hutchins, who met Murray while they were playing under-12s tennis, said: “It was tough – just like when I phoned Colin [Fleming, his main doubles partner]. Andy and Colin are my closest friends.
“Andy said, ‘You’re going to get through this, you’re going to become a better person and a better tennis player. You’re going to be far stronger, mentally’.”