Former champion Radek Stepanek has pulled out of Tuesday night's first-round Brisbane International clash with Lleyton Hewitt due to an eye infection.
Russian lucky loser Igor Kunitsyn will replace veteran Czech Stepanek, the former world number eight, handing Hewitt a slightly easier path to the second round in his first match of the summer.
Eccentric world number 31 Stepanek, 34, had enjoyed a Midas touch in Brisbane, claiming the 2009 title and making the 2010 final.
Eighth-seeded Slovakian Martin Klizan is also out after suffering a straight-sets first-round loss to Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin.
World number 30 Klizan should have arrived in Brisbane with a spring in his step after being named 2012's ATP Newcomer of the Year.
Slovakia's top-ranked player had a breakthrough 2012 in which the big-serving left hander won his first ATP World Tour title.
But the 23-year-old looked out of sorts in an erratic display and world number 43 Istomin showed no mercy, wrapping up the match 6-1, 6-2 in just 70 minutes.
Istomin - the first player from Uzbekistan to finish the year in the world top 50 - ensured Klizan endured a nightmare start to 2013.
Istomin will play the winner of Hewitt's clash with world number 162 Kunitsyn.
AAPTags: tennis, sport, brisbane-4000, qld, australia First posted January 01, 2013 14:50:19