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January 1, 2014

Colin Fleming

Ross Hutchins


0‑6, 6‑4, 10‑4

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ You guys' first match in more than a year.テつ Talk about getting out there again on the tour, how it felt.
ROSS HUTCHINS:テつ I thought it felt good.テつ Very enjoyable to get back with Colin again.テつ I've missed it the last sort of 15 months.
To be on court, putting the results aside, it was something that I've thought about a lot the last 12 months.テつ I've obviously been very excited to play again since Colin said that we would be back together.
I loved every second it.

Q.テつ So any first‑ball jitters?
ROSS HUTCHINS:テつ No, actually.テつ I don't know how many bagel sets we won in the past, but probably four or five in three years, so not many.テつ So to get that was quite surreal a bit.テつ I didn't see it coming, but we played a very good first set.
I personally felt really at ease before the match.テつ I think we practiced well the last week, and was it always going to be tough to come out and win on the first day.テつ I knew that.
We've got a long‑term goal, and there wasn't any jitters at to start, which there normally is.
We'll see how it goes next week, but we'll look forward to that.
You know, it doesn't feel like it's been that long.テつ It's been a long time since we've played together, but actually when I look back at that time, it feels like it's a couple months maybe, but it don't feel like‑‑ what's it been, 15 months since we played a match?
I don't know.テつ The last year has flown by pretty quick.テつ A lot of things have happened.テつ I'm just really pleased to be back on court beside Colin.テつ His level has gone up since I've played with him.テつ That's actually one thing that has changed.テつ He's improved a lot, and I need to put my side forward to match his.
So it's great to see, and I'll be doing that, working hard to make sure my level is good enough.

Q.テつ Ross, when did you feel your body was to the point where could not just go out and work out and train and everything, but actually become a pro athlete again and get out on tour?
ROSS HUTCHINS:テつ That's a good question.テつ I went to Davis Cup with these boys in Croatia after the US Open, and I wasn't at any sort of good level then.テつ That was September.
I would say when I went to Miami to train.テつ After about a week there, I felt like I was starting to feel like I could belong back on tour.

Q.テつ This was November?
ROSS HUTCHINS:テつ This was December, probably early December.テつ So I went there at the end of November.
Then hitting with sort of Andy and Kyle Edmund and Rojer, Tecau, these are all top players who I need to compete with week in, week out.テつ I would say that's when I felt like I'm starting to feel comfortable on court.
Then we did a week in Spain and my level was still average, to be honest.テつ But it was always improving, and he was, you know, giving my a lot of advice and keeping me upbeat and things like that.
This week I thought in practice we practiced really well.テつ I felt really, really happy with our practice the last four or five days since we got here once we got over the flight and the jet lag and things.
Yesterday was our best practice.テつ Going into it we both agreed without even planning it.テつ Today we started really well.
So I would say looking over the last sort of month and a bit, it gradually got better and better and better with the last few days really sort of securing in my mind‑‑ there wasn't really any doubt anyway ‑‑ that we are a top team and we can do well on tour together.

Q.テつ Colin, what was it like for you to get out there with Ross after 15 months.
COLIN FLEMING:テつ Yeah, it was brilliant.テつ You know, Ross and I, we're great friends and we had two years playing together, which I felt in those two years we were just constantly progressing.
So it's nice to sort of pick it up again.テつ We spoke after our match and we're really happy with the way we played, but I guess to answer your question, it just feels great.テつ It feels natural to be out there with a good friend.
There is no doubt that we're going to inspire each other to keep improving as we've always done.テつ Yeah, just great to have Roscoe back on the court.

Q.テつ Is it easier for you to accept a loss like this today?
ROSS HUTCHINS:テつ Probably should be, but it doesn't feel it right now.テつ I was pretty disappointed after the match.テつ You know, always when you finish a match and you haven't played in a while you look at the negatives before you look at the positives.
Once we had a chat, there were a lot more positives than there were negatives.テつ As I said earlier, I have to be realistic with our level.テつ We have expectations and goals and ambition to do well.テつ I think with that comes disappointment when you lose.テつ So, yes, in a way, but it don't feel it right now.
So we'll look forward, and we've already talked about how we can improve.テつ It's just a long‑term process.テつ We're going to stick out together and we're going to move up the rankings together.テつ I need to play better in the bigger stages, like at the end of the match today, because those boys played really well.
But I need to be able to get my level up so that I can match them.テつ That'll come with matches, but I'm desperate for it to happen sooner rather than later.

Q.テつ What was the one concern or uncertainty of not knowing when your partner would come back?テつ Did you have other partners lined up?テつ How did you adjust for it?
COLIN FLEMING:テつ No, there wasn't really much uncertainty.テつ I played the majority of last season with Jonathan Marray, which was great.テつ He's a good friend as well.
But it was always sort of the plan when Ross got healthy we would play again.
Ross finished his treatment at Queen's last year, so I guess it's been‑‑ well, you've been in remission for ‑‑ you know better than me.テつ What, five or six months?
So once that was the case and Ross gradually started exercising and practicing again, I guess I played an decent chunk of last season knowing that Ross and I would team up again.テつ So there really wasn't much uncertainty.
So that's been nice.テつ W have been sort of speaking a lot the last couple months of 2013.テつ You know, it's great to be back on court together.テつ Like Ross says, we're so optimistic for the future.

Q.テつ Start of the 2014 was pretty clear it was time to reunite?
COLIN FLEMING:テつ Yeah, we've known for a months that we were going to be back playing, so yeah.

Q.テつ So we're five weeks ahead of Davis Cup.テつ Would you two like to be the pairing?
ROSS HUTCHINS:テつ Absolutely.テつ I think Britain has got a lot of the good doubles teams, but Colin has played I think the last eight matches.テつ Is that right?テつ And I think he's won every single one.
So if Andy plays, they played fantastically well in the last match, but we're going to really try and put in some good results in the next two weeks to throw our hat in the ring.テつ We've won our last three matches as a pair.
We love Davis Cup.テつ It's a fantastic event.テつ We love playing for our country.テつ Olympics.テつ Everything about Davis Cup.

Q.テつ Even playing on clay against the Bryans?
COLIN FLEMING:テつ It's a really sort of mouth‑watering tie, isn't it?テつ Great Britain‑USA playing in the San Diego baseball stadium.テつ I've seen sort of images of what it will look like.テつ I mean, it's those sort of occasions why you play the sport.
It's an amazing thing potentially to be part of, so I think everyone is raring to be apart of it.
Like Ross said, we've got some good players that want to be part of that team.テつ Hopefully we can all start the season well, and whoever does get picked will do a good job.

Q.テつ What do you think of the Americans picking clay?
COLIN FLEMING:テつ I guess it means they're thinking about us a little bit because they've played every match on hard for the last however many years.テつ They're obviously aware of who is on our team.
ROSS HUTCHINS:テつ To be honest, I was quite surprised, but then I watched when Isner beat the French in France, when he beat Tsonga or Simon, was it?テつ I watched that match on TV, and obviously he played really well.
Isner, Querrey, and the Bryans are top players, and the Bryans have won Paris.テつ They're a good team on clay.テつ It's a surprise, but when you look deeper, it's kind of understandable.
But we've got a very good team as well, so it's going to be fascinating matchup.テつ Can't wait for that in sort of three or four weeks' time.

Q.テつ Do you think Dan Evans is going to be the No. 2?
COLIN FLEMING:テつ I don't know.テつ He qualified this week in Doha.テつ He played well.
James Ward also plays well.
You know, Kyle Edmund was in Croatia also as a hitting partner; he's playing well.
So we've got some good players for No.2 and obviously Andy is our No. 1 and a good doubles team.テつ It's just a good team.テつ Just exciting to be back with the big boys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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