Daria Gavrilova lost both her singles in the Ukraine.
Daria Gavrilova lost both her singles in the Ukraine. LYNN BO BO

Fed Cup captain praises young stars despite defeat

TENNIS: Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik is hoping to have Samantha Stosur back for Australia's next tie after a loss to Ukraine in Kharkiv with an inexperienced team.

Stosur withdrew from the tie to focus on tournaments in the Middle East, leaving Molik to praise her young charges Daria Gavrilova and Ash Barty.

The defeat condemned Australia to a playoff to in April against an opponent yet to be determined which it needs to win to stay in World Group II.

"I'm hoping Sam will play in April,” Molik said.

"It's a conversation yet to be had.

"I know the Fed Cup means a lot to her. I'd love to see her playing but it's great to see the youth coming through.

"Watching Ash on Saturday - that was about as exciting as tennis gets.

"For Ash it's about being able to sustain that for longer periods and these are the players - top 10 players, top 20 players - she should be looking to beat.”

The hosts went 2-0 up rubbers with wins for Lesia Tsurenko over Gavrilova and Elina Svitolina over Barty.

Svitolina then defeated her close friend Gavrilova in straight sets 6-3 6-2 to seal the victory.

Barty teamed up with Casey Dellacqua to earn a consolation win for Australia in the doubles, defeating Nadiia Kichenok and Olga Savchuk 6-2 2-6 10-8.

Barty's reverse singles match against Tsurenko was not required.