Wimbledon tennis pro Ross Hutchins reckons a stellar grass court season has erased any doubts he can compete with the best.
The 26-year-old former KCS Wimbledon student - and British doubles partner Colin Fleming - reached the quarter-finals at SW19 last week.
The pair had already lifted the Nottingham title in May, reached the last 16 at Queens and the semi-finals at Eastbourne in the build up to this year’s Championships.
They beat the seventh seeds in the opening round at the All England Club and went on to reach the last eight, where they bowed out after a five-set thriller against Germany’s Christopher Kas and Austria’s Alexander Peya.
Hutchins had missed two months with a wrist injury and had questioned whether he would be able to return to the top.
But he believes the best Grand Slam result of his career says he can.
“I’ve hardly played since the Australian Open in January because of a wrist injury, so I’ve been at home a lot thinking about my game and how I can improve,” he said.
“There are always doubts about whether you can return to your best and still live with the top players on Tour and I think I’ve proved I can.
“That was the best Grand Slam result we’ve had as a partnership and it is our first one together when I’ve been full fit, so I’m feeling pretty happy.”
Hutchins’ world doubles ranking has surged back up to 63, having slipped to 90 in May due to his injury troubles.
He trains with the Davis Cup squad this week aiming to land a place in the team to face Luxemburg Europe/Africa Zone Group 2 clash in Glasgow at the weekend - ahead of the forthcoming American hardcourt season.
“I wasn’t selected for the original Davis Cup team, but I’ve been asked to go along and maybe if I perform well I can force my way back in,” he added.
“It is great to be qualifying for Grand Slam tournaments and Tour events based on your rankings and I’m just looking to take that forward.
“We’ve got tournaments in Atlanta, LA and Washington coming up, where we’ve done well in the past so it is a case of building.”