Brisbane (Australia) (AFP) – Madison Keys overpowered newly-qualified Australian Daria Gavrilova to give the United States a 1-0 lead in their Fed Cup World Group play-off tie in Brisbane on Saturday.
Keys used her booming forehand to full effect as she beat the Russian-born Gavrilova 6-4, 6-2 on a purpose-built clay court on Pat Rafter Arena.
The pint-sized Gavrilova was unable to cope with the brute force of Keys, who won in 77 minutes to give the Americans the early advantage.
After both women had their serves broken early in the first set, Keys broke Gavrilova again in the seventh game.
She then broke the Australian twice in the second to claim a comfortable win.
Australian number one Samantha Stosur will be hoping to level proceedings when she takes on Christina McHale in the second rubber later Saturday.
The winner of the tie qualifies for the eight-nation World Group in 2017.