%mlink(STRY:; PHOTO:PER104-010202; AUDIO:%)

PERTH, Australia (AP) _ Lleyton Hewitt, the 20-year-old Australian star ranked No. 1 in the world, withdrew from the Hopman Cup on Thursday because of the chicken pox.

Hewitt was using the team tournament as a warmup event for the Australian Open, which begins Jan. 14.

The Australian team of Hewitt and Alicia Molik was scheduled to play Spain on Thursday at the Burswood Dome, with the winner advancing to Saturday's final.

``Lleyton is suffering the effects of a viral infection and needs to rest up for a few days,'' tournament doctor Peter Steele said.

Steele said he was confident Hewitt would be able to play in the Australian Open, but added that the enforced rest period could hinder his preparation.