Murray dedicates win to friend
Tennis:An emotional Andy Murray successfully defended his Brisbane International title this morning and then dedicated the win to an ill friend.
Speaking on court after his 7-6 (7/0) 6-4 victory over Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, a tearful Murray said: “I’d like to dedicate this victory to one of my best friends. He’s back home watching and you’re going to get through it.”
It is understood Murray was talking about fellow British Davis Cup player Ross Hutchins, a long-time friend of the Scot who revealed today he is suffering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a form of cancer.
The 27-year-old doubles specialist broke the news on Twitter, saying: “Happy New Year to all!Unfortunately I will be away from tennis for a while as I was recently diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. I am doing well, very positive with excellent medical support, friends and family around me. Looking forward to being back on the court soon!”
Messages of support flooded in for Hutchins, including from British Lawn Tennis Association chief executive Roger Draper and Murray’s former coach Brad Gilbert. In a message to Hutchins on Twitter, Gilbert wrote: “this is an opponent I am sure you can beat. Keep up the positive mojo like you do on the court — stay tough!”
US Open champion Murray was the top seed in Brisbane and retained his crown over first-time ATP World Tour finalist Dimitrov, fighting back from an early break down and saving a set point in the opener.
At 21, Dimitrov is the youngest player in the world’s top 50, and Murray praised the performance of the highly-rated talent. “It’s his first final,” Murray said. “Everyone will agree he played some extremely exciting tennis, it was a very tough match.
“He’s just changed coaches, started with a new team, so congratulations to them — I’m sure they’re going to do great things together.” Murray’s title, his first on the regular tour since the same tournament 12 months ago, comes just over a week before the start of the Australian Open in Melbourne, the season’s first Grand Slam tournament.