ROSS HUTCHINS: Andy was chilled... he knew it was his time at Wimbledon
I first met Andy when I was 12 and he was 10 at an international tournament in Scotland, we crossed each others’ paths more and more and became very close friends. That first meeting was 16 years ago so you can imagine how proud I am to have seen him become Wimbledon champion. He is amazing and fully deserved it.
I’m still lost for words to describe how well he played. He normally raises his game for big matches but I felt confident from the very first point. It was long and gruelling but Andy came out on top and that was such an uplifting feeling for all of us in his box. I was in my usual position on the end behind Kim – it’s not superstition just habit and I like having the wall there!
Weirdly, unlike the rest of Britain, I felt calm and relaxed pretty much the whole way through. I was just very happy that he was in the final, a sign that he and Novak Djokovic have taken over tennis. A few of us had spoken earlier in the week about how we wanted it to be Djokovic he faced in the final rather than Juan Martin Del Potro. Winning Wimbledon by beating the No 1 player in the world was the best way to do it.
The way he behaved ahead of that final game made me feel calm. He just did what he always did. He clenched his fist, sat there calmly with his iced towel around his neck and didn’t look stressed out by the moment. The crowd were all chanting his name but he was focused. It’s so easy in big moments to start looking around and fidgeting and losing your focus. But he was chilled out because he knew it was his time
It was all very new to me as I’d not seen him play in a Grand Slam final before. Last year I was playing doubles in Newport because I’d gone out early at Wimbledon, for the Olympics final I was on my way to Montreal and I was at another tournament when he was at the US Open final.
So there was real elation when he won and it was great when he climbed up to see everybody. I just felt so happy for Kim and his parents in particular. They have been by his side and following him around the world for so many years.
I didn’t see much of Andy straight away afterwards though we did get a special moment in the locker room immediately afterwards. We’re not allowed in that locker room during the fortnight so to come in there when everyone else had gone to celebrate him being Wimbledon champion was pretty amazing. We hugged and swapped a few private words.
I don’t think my illness has brought us closer together but when you know someone so well, it makes you then appreciate them even more. Andy responded so well to my news, helping me all the way through. He’s been constantly researching it and helping me even when he doesn’t realise he has been. Any time I had a problem, he’d say ‘Don’t worry, that’s normal’ he’s helped me a lot to stay strong in tough times.
We went to the ball in evening and Andy arrived a bit later. It was a really nice meal, some speeches and pictures with the trophy. It wasn’t like a big party with lots of dancing, more of a quiet meal but it was great.
I saw him at dinner last night but not before because he had so much media to do. Plus there are so many other people who need to see him more than me. It was a special night of close family and friends.
As for my health, there’s going to be tests every six months and there’s always the chance the illness could come back. But you can sometimes turn bad situations into positives and I’ve tried to do that in the past six months. I wanted to come out on top in terms of the cancer and in terms of the rest of my life.
It’s odd in that working with Andy on the Rally Against Cancer and then him winning Queen’s and Wimbledon means my profile has been raised. But I have so much more that I want to achieve in tennis.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/article-2359098/Ross-Hutchins-best-friend-Andy-Murray-Wimbledon-champion.html