Glen Iris, Melbourne, 17 April 2011 | AAP/Tennis Australia

Australia has been knocked out of the Fed Cup World Group.

Ukraine won the play-off tie 3-2 in Melbourne today to send Australia back to the lower tier World Group Two.

Scores were level after the singles rubbers, with the Ukraine taking the crucial doubles in three sets.

“Not a real good feeling at the moment,” Australian captain David Taylor said after the tie. “We were heavily favoured to win the tie and we didn’t. They played a bit freer. They had a really good attitude from start to finish and they got rewarded for that.”

The day started positively for the home team when Australian No.1 Jarmila Groth defeated Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko 6-1 6-3 but Anastasia Rodionova lost a tight 7-6 7-6 reverse singles to Olga Savchuk.

“I did everything I could,” said Rodionova, who lost her opening match to Tsurenko on Saturday. “Of course I’m disappointed and frustrated but I feel I gave everything I could today.”

Pairing for the doubles ahead of new recruits Sophie Ferguson and Sally Peers, Groth and Rodionova cleaned up the doubles first set 6-0 against Tsurenko and Savchuk but their confidence dissolved after the Ukrainians pressed hard for the second set and stormed to the finishing line 6-3.

With Australian No.1 Sam Stosur skipping the tie to continue her European claycourt preparations and Jelena Dokic also unable to compete, Taylor insisted the play-off team was good enough to win. “We hoped to win it in the singles,” he said. “We didn’t realistically think it would come down to the doubles. There’s no option but to regroup.”

A glum Jarmila Groth will also leave Australia shortly for her training base in Turkey to prepare for the claycourt season.

“All we can do is look forward to the next tie,” she said.

Final scores as follows:

Olga Savchuk/Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) bt Jarmila Groth/Anastasia Rodionova (AUS) 0-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-3

Olga Savchuk (UKR) bt Anastasia Rodionova (AUS) 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (14-12)

Jarmila Groth (AUS) bt Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 6-1 6-3

On Saturday

Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) bt Anastasia Rodionova (AUS) 6-1 6-4

Jarmila Groth (AUS) bt Olga Savchuk (UKR) 6-1 6-1