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Team WTAworld, Administrator, aka Nibbler
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PERTH, AUSTRALIA (TICKER) -- The United States suffered a round-robin loss to Italy at the Hopman Cup while Australia's Lleyton Hewitt just plain suffered.

The second-seeded Americans fell to 1-1 at the mixed team event after dropping both their singles matches to Italy, which needed to win a playoff against Greece to qualify.

Hewitt, the men's world No. 1, helped No. 2 Australia win its tie against Argentina, 2-1, before undergoing medical tests after "feeling unwell," according to a tournament spokesperson. The 20-year-old reigning U.S. Open champion, who has had a mysterious respiratory ailment over the last two years, complained of a fever in the last few days.

Despite his condition, Hewitt helped his country improve to 2-0 in Group B. After Alicia Molik fell to Argentina's Paola Suarez in the women's singles, he beat Mariano Zabaleta, 6-3, 6-4, and teamed with his countrywoman for a 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (10-7) win in the mixed doubles.

Hewitt's illness cast a shadow over his preparations for the Australian Open, which begins in less than two weeks.

Italy's Francesca Schiavone continues to be the surprise of the tournament. She defeated world No. 5 Kim Clijsters in her country's 2-1 loss to Belgium and started Wednesday's Group A tie with a 4-6, 6-2, 4-6 victory over American Monica Seles.

Davide Sanguinetti clinched the victory for Italy when he bested Jan Michael Gambill, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3.

The Americans avoided the sweep by claiming the mixed doubles, 6-1, 6-3, but fell to 1-1 in round-robin play.
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