Russia won the decisive doubles match Friday to beat the United States 2-1 and reach the final of the Billie Jean King Cup.
Veronika Kudermetova and Liudmila Samsonova defeated the American pair of Shelby Rogers and Coco Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-3 after the teams split the two singles matches of their semi-final.
Russia reached its first final since 2015 in the competition formerly known as the Fed Cup.
“We feel amazing,” Kudermetova said.
The Russians are seeking their fifth title.
They Russians will play Switzerland in Saturday’s final at Prague’s O2 Arena. The Swiss reached their first final since finishing runner-up in 1998 by winning both singles matches in straight sets to take an unassailable 2-0 lead against Australia.
The U.S. is the most successful nation in the competition with 18 trophies but Russia took a 1-0 lead when Samsonova rallied from a set down to beat Sloane Stephens 1-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Samsonova broke Stephens in the fifth game on the final set and again in the ninth game, converting her second match point when Stephens’ backhand went wide.
Samsonova, who also beat Stephens at this year’s Wimbledon, was making her singles debut for Russia and said she was “a little bit nervous.”
“But I was very happy for this opportunity, I’m so happy for the way it finished,” she said.
For Stephens, it was her first loss in the competition since the 2017 final, ending a streak of five wins.
Danielle Collins leveled the semi-final with a hard-fought 6-7 (9), 7-6 (2), 6-2 victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Collins also beat Pavlyuchenkova in their only previous encounter at the 2019 quarter-final of the Australian Open.
Olympic champion Belinda Bencic clinched the win for the Swiss, delivering the second point by easing past Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 6-2.
Switzerland advanced to the semis from Group D, considered the toughest in the tournament, defeating both the Czech Republic and Germany on the way.
Jil Teichmann put Switzerland up 1-0 by beating Storm Sanders 6-0, 6-3, closing out the match with her seventh ace.
“I played really good, I went for my shots, I played aggressive and I’m very happy about my game,” Teichmann said.
The 12 teams in the tournament were divided into four groups of three in a new competition format. Only the group winners advanced to the semi+finals.
No. 1 Djokovic and No. 2 Medvedev reach Paris Masters semis
PARIS Top-ranked Novak Djokovic beat unseeded American Taylor Fritz 6-4, 6-3 on Friday to reach the Paris Masters semi-finals and remain on course for a record-extending sixth title at the tournament.
Djokovic is also vying for a record 37th Masters title. He is tied on 36 with fellow 20-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic, who next faces seventh-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, is playing in his first tournament since losing the U.S. Open final in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev in September.
He could face Medvedev, the defending Paris Masters champion, in the final again this Sunday. The second-seeded Russian saved three set points at 5-4 and 0-40 in the first set before beating French qualifier Hugo Gaston 7-6 (7), 6-4.
In the semi-final, Medvedev plays fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev, who beat No. 6 Casper Ruud 7-5, 6-4.
Earlier, Hurkacz beat Australian James Duckworth 6-2, 6-7 (4), 7-5 to secure the last spot for the season-ending ATP Finals.
Following him onto court, Djokovic secured an early break for 2-0 but Fritz broke the Serb at love in the next game.
Djokovic had a love break of his own in the eighth game but slipped to 0-40 when serving for the first set after Fritz won a 26-shot rally, and then won the next point to pull back to 5-4.
But a rushed backhand into the net gave Djokovic a set point in the next game. Fritz saved it when Djokovic sent a forehand long, but Djokovic took his next chance when the 26th-ranked Fritz’s shot landed out.
After they traded breaks at the start of the second set, Djokovic needed to save two break points in the third game before a much-needed ace on the way to a hold for 2-1.
Djokovic took control with a forehand winner to break Fritz and then held at love for 5-2.
Serving for the match, Djokovic cruised to 40-0 and sealed the victory on his first match point with a backhand volley at full stretch that just dropped over the net.
He is 2-0 against Hurkacz, who was thrilled at making the ATP Finals, which start in the Italian city of Turin on Nov. 14.
Hurkacz reached the Wimbledon semi-finals this year, beating 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the quarters. He then broke into the Top 10 for the first time last month.
The 29-year-old Duckworth, ranked 55th, was in his first quarter-final at Masters level.