Billie Jean King has joined leading figures in the tennis world in paying tribute to Paul Hutchins, who died aged 73 on Wednesday following a battle with Motor Neurone Disease.
Hutchins was a long-time servant of British tennis, fulfilling roles as diverse as player, Davis Cup captain, coach, commentator and administrator. He was also a long-time tournament director of the Nottingham championships in England.
In response to the news, King tweeted: “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.”
Former WTA World No.5 and British No.1 Jo Durie also passed on her condolences to the family of a man who reached the third round at both the Australian and US Open in 1968 before being forced to retire two years later due to injury.
“Sad news about Paul Hutchins who was always so involved in British tennis bringing his enthusiasm wherever he went. A true gent & the whole tennis family will miss him. Thoughts to his lovely family at this sad time,” she said.
“Paul Hutchins, your kindness, passion for our sport, and friendship will never be forgotten. RIP. We all love you,” added WTA World No.46 Alison Riske.