sport

Hutchins takes up Queen's role

Ross Hutchins has been appointed the new tournament director of London's Aegon Championships.

Hutchins, who returned to action this year with doubles partner Colin Fleming after recovering from Hodgkins Lymphoma, will combine the role with his playing career although the position will exclude him from competing at the tournament at The Queen's Club.

The 29-year-old will work alongside the tournament's managing director, Stephen Farrow, with the pair taking on the responsibilities of Chris Kermode, who recently became the executive president and Chairman of the ATP.

"I am honoured to have been given this opportunity," said Hutchins, who will be responsible for tennis decisions and player relations during the tournament week, as well as advising on tournament strategy.

"The Aegon Championships is one of the longest running and best tournaments on the ATP World Tour, and I will do everything I can to make it even better."

In 2013 Hutchins organised the Rally Against Cancer charity matches, which were held on the finals day of the Aegon Championships and featured the likes of Andy Murray, Ivan Lendl and Tim Henman, as well as London Mayor Boris Johnson.

The event raised over 300,000 for the Royal Marsden Hospital, where Hutchins underwent his cancer treatment after being diagnosed with the illness in December 2012. He announced his cancer was in remission in July 2013.

Hutchins added: "It has always been a special event for me as a player because it was the first main tour tournament I ever played, but my appreciation for the event grew further last year when I had the chance to work with the fantastic tournament team on the Rally Against Cancer charity match.

"I was fascinated by how much work went on behind the scenes, and I loved being involved with it."

Reflecting on how his new responsibilities will affect his playing career, he added: "Nothing will change except that I won't play the Aegon Championships tournament week.

"As soon as I knew that this position was going to be available and that I was keen to do it, I spoke to Colin Fleming, who has been my doubles partner for the last four years. He immediately said: 'You should go for it, it's a great opportunity and it's a great fit for you.'

"It was important that my doubles partner was okay with it, and that he was supportive of me doing this because I am still very dedicated to our team, and ambitious as a tennis player."

Lawn Tennis Association chief executive Michael Downey welcomed Hutchins' appoinment, saying: "Ross is a very impressive young man and he is the perfect fit to be the new tournament director of the Aegon Championships.

"He has the respect of his peers, is well known and liked throughout the tennis world, and brings with him current, direct experience of the ATP World Tour."

This year's Aegon Championships runs from June 9-15.