Paul Hutchins, former player and Captain of the British Davis Cup team, passed away today, aged 73. Hutchins dedicated over half his lifetime to tennis as a player, a coach and an administrator.
Hutchins had a career which many can only dream of, reaching the third rounds of the French and the US Open in 1968. He also was a quarterfinalist at the men’s doubles at the French Open, where he had Gerald Battrick as his partner.
Upon his passing, the Hutchins family stated, “It’s with heartbreaking sadness that we say goodbye to him. Paul passionately dedicated his life to his family and to an incredible career in tennis. It was his wish for us to thank the very many who have been parts of it. He will be dearly missed.”
Tennis broadcaster for BBC Radio Five Live, David Law tweeted, “I first met Paul in the mid 90’s when I was a student. He could not have been more encouraging and helpful to me as I tried to find a way to work in tennis. He remained so ever since.”
Meanwhile, former British number one Laura Robson said: “Saddest news. Paul was the most genuinely lovely person and will be greatly missed.”
In 2016, Hutchins was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). He had four children, most noteworthy being Ross, who retired in 2014 and is now a player officer for the ATP tour. Hutchins was also tennis team leader for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics and worked as a tournament director for the Nottingham Open and Road to Wimbledon.
Paul Hutchins still stands to be the longest serving British Davis Cup captain, being in charge for 31 matches and 13 years. In 1978, the British Davis Cup team reached the finals, where they lost to the United States.
The Tennis community united in paying their respects to the late Briton.
Paul Hutchins was a wonderful human being. He was a class act who represented the best of Great Britain n tennis worldwide. A good friend he spent his life as a fine player n a great Davis cup captain. My sincere condolences to Ross n the Hutchins family. The game will miss him.
— Vijay Amritraj (@Vijay_Amritraj) March 15, 2019
— ITF (@ITF_Tennis) March 15, 2019
I’m very sad to hear the passing of Paul Hutchins, my thoughts are with his family who have lost the most loving and caring man. He always supported me and no doubt everyone around him and in British Tennis.
— Kyle Edmund (@kyle8edmund) March 15, 2019
Paul Hutchins, who was involved in British tennis for more than 50 years, has passed away aged 73.
Read Tribute ⬇️
— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) March 15, 2019
Paul Hutchins was truly one of the all-round good guys and I am very saddened to hear of his passing. His selfless contribution to tennis, his warmth and great personal friendship will be sorely missed. Thoughts are with Ross and family at this sad time.
— Craig Tiley (@CraigTiley) March 15, 2019
Paul Hutchins was a great champion, both on and off the court. He had a lifelong love of the game, and the tennis community will never forget him. My deepest condolences to his family and friends. https://t.co/U5jiRBWPck
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) March 15, 2019
Very sad to hear the news that Paul Hutchins – Great Britain's longest-serving Davis Cup captain amongst many other roles and achievements during 50+ years of service – has died. His moving speech at the Lawn Tennis Writers' Association lunch last November will be long remembered
— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) March 14, 2019
Reading tweets about Paul Hutchins from all over the world this morning.
From leading players like Alison Riske on the WTA Tour, top coaches, British players, journalists, people he helped on the Road to Wimbledon, volunteers.
All saying what a kind, special man he was.
— David Law (@DavidLawTennis) March 15, 2019
So terribly sad to hear of Paul Hutchins' passing. He was still so brave and cheerful when I saw him at Wimbledon. All thoughts with his family. British tennis owes him so much for his talent & commitment. #tennis
— Richard Ingham Evans (@Ringham7) March 14, 2019
So very sad to hear this news. He introduced me into the world of professional tennis which, as a result of his generous actions, subsequently employed me for 18 years. He was influential in my life over and above that which I deserved. RIP Paul Hutchins
— alastair mciver (@alastairmciver) March 14, 2019
A wonderful man, kind and caring. RIP Paul Hutchins, former player.. then coach, administrator, BBC TV commentator and tournament organiser. Basically, Mr British Tennis. He loved it, and we loved him. https://t.co/rsf5gDyWI4
— Jonathan Overend (@jsoverend) March 14, 2019
Terrible news with the death of former GB Davis Cup captain Paul Hutchins. I know no-one in tennis who was more universally loved/admired
— Simon Briggs (@simonrbriggs) March 14, 2019
Paul Hutchins was a great man of British tennis. A passionate,kind, engaging gentleman who will be hugely missed by his sport and beyond.
— Iain Carter (@iaincartergolf) March 14, 2019