Andy Murray has dragged Tim Henman out of retirement for one last grass court showdown at Queen’s Club this summer.
The two will take part in a celebrity doubles match as part of the “Rally against Cancer” on the final Sunday of the Aegon Championships.
The money raised will go to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity which supports the Royal Marsden Hospital in London where Murray’s friend Ross Hutchins is being treated.
Hutchins, who with Colin Fleming, formed one of the top doubles teams last year, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma over Christmas. Aged just 27, he began a course of chemotherapy at the start of January but rather than feel sorry for himself, is determined to do as much as he can to help those who are helping him.
He said: “Ever since I was diagnosed and began treatment at The Royal Marsden hospital I have wanted to do something to raise money for them to thank them for their kindness.
“I’d had the idea of running a tennis event and was approached by Chris Kermode, the Tournament Director and the team at the LTA, who suggested doing something after the final of the Aegon Championships at The Queen’s Club. I thought it was a great idea.
“I then asked Andy, and straight away he said he was up for it, that he would love to play for the charity. Now Tim has said he will play, too, which is fantastic.”
Murray was deeply shocked by the news of his friend’s illness and dedicated his victory at the Brisbane International to Hutchins. When he got to the Australian Open, he vowed to “fight as hard as I can this week to give Ross something to support and smile about” and went on to reach the final.
On the Queen’s Club match, Murray added: “As soon as Ross started talking about the idea, I knew I wanted to get involved.
“We want to make it a day to remember, so we are talking to a few celebrities, who love their tennis, about coming down and getting involved on the day.”
Henman and Murray faced each other four times on the ATP tour (Murray leads their rivalry 3-1) but never in Britain and never on grass.
These days, Henman spends most of his spare time on the golf course rather than the practice court, but the old Tiger is still up for the challenge.
“This is a great idea and a great cause,” Henman said. “It will be fun to go out on the Centre Court at The Queen’s Club again, and for the first time with Andy.
“Most importantly, it’s an opportunity to raise money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity which supports the hospital that is treating Ross.”
The match will be held after the Aegon Championships final and an extra £10 will be charged for the day’s tickets, money that will go directly to the charity. The LTA have chipped in by donating £10 for every ace served during the tournament and there will be an auction to raise yet more funds. Individual donations can be made through the website www.justgiving.com/RallyAgainstCancer2013 or by texting 70070 with the message “RALL60” and the amount you wish to donate.