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Molik gives Aussies 2-1 lead

ALICIA Molik has given Australia a 2-1 lead over the Netherlands in the Fed Cup tennis play-off at the Wollongong Entertainment Centre.

After levelling the tie at 1-1 with a fighting three-set win over Kristie Boogert yesterday, Molik outclassed Dutch No.1 Miriam Oremans 6-2 6-3 in today's first reverse singles rubber.

The world No.71 achieved two breaks in the first set and saved five break points on her own serve in the second in another assured display as Australia's No.1 singles player in the absence of the injured Nicole Pratt.

Molik gained the sole service break in the sixth game of the second set and confidently closed out the match to put Australia in a strong position to retain its place in the 16-nation World Group for the 2003 Fed Cup.

World No.107 Evie Dominikovic has the opportunity to clinch the best-of-five match play-off in the reverse singles against the 158th-ranked Boogert.

Dominikovic will team with Rennae Stubbs in this afternoon's doubles against Oremans and Boogert.