Murray inspired by friend with cancer

Andy Murray warmed up for the Australian Open by winning the Brisbane International.

Story highlights

  • Andy Murray wins Brisbane International following victory over Grigor Dimitrov
  • U.S. Open champion dedicates victory to friend and former doubles partner Ross Hutchins
  • British tennis player Hutchins, 27, has been diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma
  • Petra Kvitova crashes out of Sydney International

Andy Murray fought off the tears to claim victory in the final of the Brisbane International following the news that one of his best friends has been diagnosed with a form of cancer.

British tennis player Ross Hutchins, 27, is a former doubles partner of Murray's as well as a Davis Cup teammate.

Murray, who overcame Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 6-4, dedicated his victory to Hutchins while holding back the tears, saying: "I'd like to dedicate this victory to one of my best friends. He's back home watching -- you're going to get through it."

Hutchins has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the white blood cell found in the lymphatic system, which is a network of vessels and glands spread throughout the body.

The most common symptom of Hodgkin's lymphoma is a painless swelling in a lymph node, normally in the neck, armpit or groin.

Hutchins wrote on Twitter: "Happy New Year to all! Unfortunately I will be away from tennis for a while as I was recently diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma.

Clijsters reflects on career, family
Clijsters reflects on career, family


    Clijsters reflects on career, family


Clijsters reflects on career, family 03:23

"I am doing well, very positive with excellent medical support, friends and family around me. Looking forward to being back on the court soon!"

In a statement on the Lawn Tennis Association website, Hutchins explained further.

"Over the Christmas period I was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma.

"This came as a shock but I am ready to move forward with the necessary treatment.

"I have the best medical support at Royal Marsden and very close family and friends supporting me.

"I look forward to getting over this hurdle and getting back to the ATP Tour and full steam ahead with my tennis career."

Murray overcomes heat factor

Murray's victory, in which he came from 4-1 down in the opening set, enabled him to claim the 25th ATP title of his career.

The British number one needed 87 minutes to see off Dimitrov and said he was impress by the standard of tennis on show.

"I thought the standard of tennis was good today," Murray said told reporters.

"There were a lot of high-quality rallies and I had to change a few things. He started the match off very well and was extremely aggressive.

"I needed to change things around a little bit and I managed to start dictating a lot of points and use my forehand well. So my ground strokes worked well today."

Serena off to a flyer in 2013

Elsewhere, world number eight Petra Kvitova suffered a setback to her Australian Open preparations after going down 6-1 6-1 to Dominkia Cibulkova at the Sydney International.

Kvitova, who was also knocked out early on at Brisbane by Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, admits she's suffering from a lack of confidence.

"I played really badly and I wish I knew what I could say but I don't know," Kvitova told reporters.

"I'm not feeling very well right now, in my confidence, but I'm always looking forward to playing grand slams and I hope everything will be better there than here."

Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki eased past Urszula Radwanska 6-1 6-2, while there were also wins for Russia duo Maria Kirilenko and Ekaterina Makarova.