Glen Iris, Melbourne, 17 April 2011 | Tennis Australia

Australian No.1 Jarmila Groth has given Australia a 2-1 lead over the Ukraine in the Fed Cup World Group Play-off at Glen Iris Valley Recreation Club today.

The heavy-hitting Groth pummelled Ukraine’s No.1 Lesia Tsurenko 6-1 6-3 in a match lasting barely 60 minutes.

The reverse singles between Anastasia Rodionova and Olga Savchuk follows, with Rodionova aiming to avenge yesterday’s straight sets loss to Tsurenko.

Groth was satisfied with her comprehensive victory, and said she had been aggressive when she had to be.

“I’m very happy to give two points to Australia,” she said.  Her confidence will be surging when she returns to Europe for the claycourt season, heading to play tournaments in Estoril, Madrid and Rome before defending a swag load of points at Roland Garros where she reached the fourth round last year.

She said coach Gavin Hopper would be working with her in Turkey for a few days to further improve her movement, heavy forehand and mental strength.

“I think I’m getting slowly there,” she said.

The winner of the play-off tie remains in the elite eight-nation World Group.