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June 26, 2014

Colin Fleming

Ross Hutchins


4/6, 7/6, 6/4, 6/4

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ I'm sure you've seen the comments from Julien Hoferlin about British players being too spoiled to succeed.テつ Is that fair?テつ And if so, why?
ROSS HUTCHINS:テつ Good question to start.
I think as a nation, results and rankings seem to show that we I think underachieve, especially over the last sort of ten years.
I think the resources that we have and the standard of juniors that we have, we would hope to have more progression from the age of probably 17 to 20 and then onwards.
I think we've got some good players in the country to perform well on occasion, especially Davis Cup and things, and can play very well.テつ But it's just a question of results and ranking over consistent periods don't seem to be what we would hope to be.
Apart from Andy, I think our players could be higher ranked.
I think in the doubles we've done that to quite decent success.テつ We've had six or seven people in the top 50 the last couple years.テつ In singles we would have hoped that people would have pushed on.
As of spoiled, I don't really know.テつ Julien would have a pretty good estimation of that considering he was there right in the mix of it.テつ I haven't ever coached one of the singles guys, so I don't know.
I think we get given a lot.テつ I think we're appreciative of it.テつ Whether some people are not giving their worth back is kind of up to them to decide and they'll know.
For me, I don't know if they are or not because I didn't work with them.テつ Julien is a pretty experienced coach.テつ I think he's a very good coach as well.テつ Normally he should know what he's talking about.
But I'm not really the one to say.

Q.テつ Ross, how did it feel to be back here playing?
ROSS HUTCHINS:テつ It felt great.テつ Obviously it's a shame to be half an hour after a loss in the first round.テつ But this is my home club.テつ I live three minutes away.テつ It's great to be back having missed last year.
But it's the best tournament in the world.テつ It's what you want to perform well in.テつ We played okay, but didn't perform to our absolute best.テつ Got outplayed a little bit today.テつ It was a tight match, but credit to them.テつ They played better than us and deserved to win.
Unfortunately couldn't come through, but it felt amazing.

Q.テつ Was it emotional to come back?
ROSS HUTCHINS:テつ I was watching Andy in the box last year, watching Colin's matches last year.
Emotional‑‑ I was excited.テつ Very excited and sort of enjoyed it, enjoyed the feeling.テつ There wasn't actually any nerves before the match.テつ We were pretty relaxed before the match.テつ We played well in Eastbourne last week; practiced well.
We felt good going into the match.テつ No excuses there whatsoever.テつ There weren't any injuries.テつ We felt good.テつ Just couldn't quite convert on their game style really.

Q.テつ The first best‑of‑five that you've played for a while?
ROSS HUTCHINS:テつ We prepared well for Davis Cup this week and we practiced five sets in a day.テつ Fitness has never been an issue for us really.テつ We felt good out there.テつ We were pretty fresh at the end of the fourth, I think.
So it would be the first best‑of‑five we played since we lost five sets a couple years ago.
So, yeah, in matches, yes.テつ But we were ready to play Davis Cup a few months ago in best‑of‑five.テつ It's not that I wasn't prepared for it.

Q.テつ How do you feel your season is progressing in terms of where you want it to be at this stage?
ROSS HUTCHINS:テつ Not as well as we'd hoped.テつ Clearly we feel like we are a team that could and maybe should be progressing further in the Grand Slams.
We've just taken two first rounds in the last two slams, so that's not ideal.
But our form is decent.テつ I mean, we're playing some good tennis.テつ It's just we're playingnot being seeded in certain tournaments due to whatever, using a protected ranking, but also not capitalizing on the better draws we've had earlier in the year.
Has meant that we're playing seeds in the first round here.テつ Guys are probably one out of seeding in Paris and then seeds in a lot of the tournaments.テつ So we're facing tougher matches earlier, and it's up to us to win those matches.
Again, there's no excuses whatsoever.テつ We have opportunities to win these matches, and we haven't converted on some of them and we have on others.テつ We'd like to convert more to actually not say we're losing to seeds, but to be able to say, We're beating the seeds and progressing through the draw.
It hasn't been as good as we'd hoped because obviously we're hoping to win every tournament.テつ There is progression there.

Q.テつ You're about to renew your partnership with Joce.テつ How much are you looking forward to that?
COLIN FLEMING:テつ I'm excited to play with Joce.テつ She sent me a message about playing the mixed here.テつ Yeah, I knew straightaway it would be good to play.テつ We played in Delhi at the Commonwealth.テつ We played here the following year.テつ Had a decent run I think to the third round.
We've got some sort of past success.テつ I know Joce has been playing well in her own ladies doubles.テつ She's got a lot of upsides on the court, a lot of strengths.
She's got a good serve, which is key in mixed.テつ Yeah, I think if we can go out and try and get that good energy we had a few years ago going again, hopefully we can be dangerous.

Q.テつ Commonwealth Games happening in a month or two.テつ Are you going to make it?テつ Be a spectator?
COLIN FLEMING:テつ Well, they were kind.テつ Invited me along if I'm at home.テつ Obviously been part of the last team.テつ If I'm home, I'll definitely watch some events.テつ Hopefully it will be a nice showcase for sport in Scotland.

Q.テつ Ross, the protected ranking will eventually run out.テつ I don't know how many tournaments you have left, but is that in the back of the mind?
ROSS HUTCHINS:テつ No, it's not.テつ It's somewhere in the mind.テつ I guess you could say it's in the back because I don't think about it very much, no.
I think we've got a couple tournaments left, but that was inevitable.テつ We knew that unless we pick up, I think 200 points per week, wasn't going to get back to mid‑20s where we left off.テつ That would be pretty much winning a tournament per week.
I never expected to be back to the ranking.テつ The aim is to be inside 100 and be in the two digits after 12 tournaments.テつ I think I have two tournaments left.テつ I'm around 120, 130.テつ Hopefully it's one week away.
Once I'm inside 100, with Colin's ranking being whatever it is, 35, we'd get into most tournaments anyway.テつ Then we can progress forward.
I'm not thinking about it very much.テつ But it's inevitable that unless we really pushed on every single week and made semis, finals, winning the tournament, I was never going to get back to the same ranking that I was before the illness.

Q.テつ Do you have some sort of contingency plan in place if you don't get to that level?
ROSS HUTCHINS:テつ I guess we'll reassess.テつ It's not something we've actually talked about, in all honesty.テつ Do I play challengers?テつ Do I drop down?テつ Does Colin have to play with someone else?テつ Could I try to get my ranking back up?
We haven't actually spoken about it for one second.テつ We were fortunate enough to be given a wild card here and in Eastbourne last week, which helps a lot.テつ If you don't use your protected by being given a wild card, it gives you extra tournaments.テつ We'll play another couple other tournaments ‑テつ we haven't decided yet what it will be ‑ then reassess.
As I say, if we played Washington, a 500, make semis or final there, you put in 300 or 500 points, your whole mindset changes.
It's not something we talk about until you have to come down to it because you're one week away from sort of having a big week.

Q.テつ Are you quite determined to get back to the top or do you think that there are more important things in life?
ROSS HUTCHINS:テつ Absolutely.テつ We're training hard every day.テつ We don't take many days off.テつ We're doing what we can.
We know everyone else is doing the same, so it's something we have to keep working harder at and keep sticking at it.テつ There's things in our games that we can always improve.テつ There's things in everyone's game.テつ It's a long process.
We're pretty experienced in this stuff.テつ We've all taken first‑round losses and won tournaments.テつ We won't think about each week.テつ It's very disappointing.テつ Especially at these tournaments it hurts even more.
But we'll work on our game and be more determined to get back.テつ It's just a question of knackering down and working hard with our coach and together.テつ We'll chat about the match later tonight or tomorrow over a meal and then move on.

Q.テつ Has it been harder than you thought?テつ You set very ambitious targets for yourself.
ROSS HUTCHINS:テつ I wouldn't say harder, no.テつ I always knew it would be a challenge.テつ But I don't feel like ever we're failing.テつ So it's just disappointing to lose matches.

If sort of we were blowing every match and I felt my level was nowhere near these guys‑‑ I mean, one of the guys today is a top‑10 player.テつ If I felt like before I was closer to him and now I'm miles aw

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