Wimbledon's Hutchins focused on Olympic campaign

First published in Tennis Wandsworth Guardian: Photograph of the Author by

The Olympic Games may not the be all and end all in the tennis world, with Grand Slam tennis considered to be the benchmark of success.

But for Ross Hutchins, London 2012 is all he is thinking about this year.

The 26-year-old tennis star is currently on duty at the Australian Open with regular partner Colin Felming - where they are 15th seeds - after a successful season on the doubles circuit.

The former KCS Wimbledon student reached the quarter finals at the Wimbledon Championships and the US Open in 2011 with fellow Brit Fleming.

The pair, who beat Americans Ryan Harrison and Ryan Sweeting 7-5 7-6 in their first round match in Melbourne on Wednesday, also won an ATP Tour title at St Petersburg and secured a maiden Davis Cup win over Hungary to make it a year to remember.

But for Hutchins, currently ranked in the world's top 50 in doubles, a line has been drawn under the last 12 months and everything is about making sure he is on top form come the start of the London Games in July.

"We are pretty sure we will make the team for the Olympics but we have to make sure we start the year well," he said.

"It is at Wimbledon and in my home town so this is massive for me. Everything we are doing now is with London 2012 in mind.

"The Grand Slams are important, but for me the Olympics is the most important thing. I've never been to one and to be part of one on your home turf is a major incentive."

Hutchins' partnership with Fleming is beginning to blossom which saw them have match points to reach the semi finals at SW19 last year.

And year-ending ATP World Tour finals at London's O2 Arena have given him a thirst for more.

"Our form over the last six months of 2011 was the equivalent of a top eight team and that is where you need to be to reach the finals," he added.

"I usually float around 40 in the world rankings but I think I'm definitely ready to make the the next step into the world's top 20 by the end of this year.

"Things are really starting to gel with Colin. We virtually grew up together. We no each other's game in side out and enjoy spending time with each other.

"People said when we first turned up at an event together, that we couldn't do well. We have shown otherwise.

"We've got more experience together and I'm confident that when we get those match point opportunities again in the big games, we will take them and that is the difference."

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