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 Friday, 27 December, 2002, 10:32 GMT
Big guns gather in Perth
World number one Lleyton Hewitt
Hewitt had to pull out of last year's event
World number one Lleyton Hewitt has got some unfinished business to complete when the Hopman Cup gets underway in Perth.

Twelve months ago Hewitt had to withdraw from the International Tennis Federation's mixed team event because of chicken pox and went on to lose in the first round of the Australian Open.

Hopman Cup teams
Group A:
USA:
Blake/ S Williams
Spain:
Robredo/Pascual
Belgium: Malisse/Clijsters
Uzbekistan: Ogorodov/T'lyagnova



Group B:
Australia:
Hewitt/Molik
Italy: Sanguinetti/Farina Elia
Czech Rep: Novak/Bedanova
Slovak Rep: Hrbaty/Hantuchova
But Hewitt has returned again this year to play for his country in the mixed team event with Alicia Molik and is keen to do better.

"I felt I didn't really give the Hopman Cup a true chance last year with the chicken pox," said Hewitt.

"I was going really well and I'm sure I would have gone a lot better in the Australian Open if it didn't happen."

Hewitt could come up against his girlfriend Kim Clijsters, who will be representing Belgium along with Xavier Malisse.

Hewitt opted for the Hopman Cup over the AAPT Championships in his hometown of Adelaide was because he was guaranteed at least three matches in Perth.

"I just felt I wanted to give it another chance and Kim being here is another positive. I can spend the week with my girlfriend, even if you lose to her," he said.

Women's world number one Serena Williams
Serena Williams will also play in Perth

Women's world number one Serena Williams is also due to take part in the tournament.

She teams up with James Blake and the US pair are the top seeds in the event.

Uzbekistan joined the Hopman Cup group on Saturday after beating Paraguay in their qualifying play-off in Perth on Saturday.

Oleg Ogorodov and Iroda Tulyaganova combined to beat Rossana Neffa-de Los Rios and Ramon Delgado 6-4 7-6.

Neffa-de Los Rios gave Paraguay a 1-0 lead after beating Tulyaganova 6-4 6-2 in the opening women's singles, but Ogorodov levelled when he beat Delgado 7-5 6-3.

The win places Uzbekistan in Group A with the top-seeded United States, Belgium and Spain.

Ogorodov and Tulyaganova will play the American pair of Serena Williams and James Blake in their opening match Monday.

On Sunday, second-seeds Australia take on Italy and the Czech Republic play Slovakia in the first two main round matches.

See also:

21 Dec 02 | Tennis
05 Dec 02 | Tennis
03 Dec 02 | Tennis
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