Wimbledon’s tennis star Ross Hutchins has served up another ace in his continuing comeback from cancer.
Just three months after getting the all clear following a year-long battle against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, the 29-year-old has been called up as a reserve for the GB Davis Cup squad.
And he could yet feature in the quarter-final against Italy, as the team is yet to be announced ahead of the April 4 start.
Away from the spotlight, and since his high-profile appearance at the Australian Open in January, Hutchins has been regaining his strength and tennis acumen with doubles partner Colin Fleming at a host of tour events around the world.
But now he is hoping to force his way into GB’s first Davis Cup quarter-final tie in 28 years, and then there is the small matter of Wimbledon in June.
He said: “To be called up is very exciting.
“The team is announced next week so I might yet force my way in, but if not, I am happy with any role be it supporter, training partner or playing.
“The Davis Cup is a huge priority for the top players and the standards are extremely high.
“Italy will be a hugely tough match as they have some excellent players, and it is being held in Naples.
“But we had a great win in America to get to this stage, so we are up for this. We have bonded as a team and we have top, top players.”
Back in the old routine: Ross Hutchins, right, with doubles partner Colin Fleming in 2011, before Hutchins was diagnosed with cancer in December 2012 DeadlinePix68311
The team consists of Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, Daniel Evans, James Ward and Fleming.
Hutchins’ comeback has included an appearance in the February final of the Great Britain F4 tournament with Luke Bambridge, and a last 16 spot at Indian Wells with Fleming earlier this month.
And with every passing game, set and match, the former world number 26 doubles player is getting stronger.
“Our standard as a doubles pairing is improving all the time, which comes down a lot to my being able to train every day,” he said.
“The more I get to play, the stronger I get, and now I am just very excited about the future.”
He added: “I can’t wait for Wimbledon, it’s such a great tournament and I’m hoping for good times on and off the court.
“I have already applied for a wildcard, but I should get my place through protected ranking.”
Away from the court, Hutchins has been named as the new tournament director for Queens, where it is hoped his standing in the sport will attract big names to south west London.
Hutchins said: “It was a surprise to be asked and a real honour to take the position. I cannot wait to get working at it.
“I have always loved playing at Queens, it is such a big event in the calendar now and is local to me.
“I’d like to continue doing this kind of work once I retire from tennis.”
He added: “I also want to continue any charity work I can, but this is such a huge opportunity for me.”
Mixed doubles: Ross with Heather Watson at Wimbledon in 2011