Ross Hutchins’ new goal in cancer fight

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Ross Hutchins admits his target of returning to tennis later this season is likely to prove unrealistic.

The British doubles specialist was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a form of cancer, in December and began six months of chemotherapy last month.

He had hoped to be able to compete again this year but, although his treatment is going well, he now accepts the start of the 2014 season is more realistic.

Hutchins, who was 28 yesterday, said: “I’ve realised the recovery after the six months will probably take three months and I will not be in great physical shape.” He has instead turned his attentions to organising a charity doubles match at Queen’s Club this summer to raise money for The Royal Marsden hospital, where he is being treated. ‘Rally Against Cancer’ will take place on finals day at the AEGON Championships on 16 June and will feature Hutchins’ close friend Andy Murray, Tim Henman and other big-name players and celebrities.

Hutchins said: “Having this project really helps me get up in the morning, not think about the cancer inside me, not worry about the scans I’ve got coming up, which will show the level of cancer either decreasing or increasing. Running this event doesn’t work on my fitness, it works on my mental strength. Hopefully I’ll be able to do that next year come January and be ready to go with Colin Fleming in Australia.”

Yesterday, Fleming and current partner Rohan Bopanna, of India, made it through to tomorrow’s ATP doubles final in Marseille following a 7-5, 6-1 win over Julian Knowle and Filip Polasek.