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The United States won both singles matches against Spain to reach the semi-finals of the Billie Jean King Cup on Wednesday.

The Americans faced a must-win situation after losing to Slovakia 2-1 in Group C on Tuesday, and Sloane Stephens and Danielle Collins both earned straight-set victories to render the final doubles meaningless.

The U.S., the most successful team in the competition formerly known as the Fed Cup with 18 titles, will face Russia in the semis. The Russians eliminated defending champion France earlier in the day.

Stephens beat Nuria Parrizas-Diaz 6-4, 6-4, earning her seventh break of the match in the final game and converting her first match point with a backhand winner.

“I came out really confident, I knew that I’m ready,” said Stephens, the 2017 U.S. Open champion.

Collins secured the second point by easing past Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-1, 6-0 in just under one hour to seal the victory and eliminate Spain.

“I think in this format, every game, every set counts,” Collins said. “For me, I was just on a roll. I think it’s quite hard putting to words when you have a performance like that.”

After sweeping Canada 3-0 the previous day, Russia needed only one win from the best-of-three match against France to advance from Group A.

It could rely on its top player, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, to deliver it.

The 12th-ranked Pavlyuchenkova rallied to beat Alize Cornet 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 to earn Russia the semi-final spot.

After the 2019 champion was upset by outsider Canada 2-1 in its opener on Monday, France needed to beat Russia 3-0 to advance.

Last year’s edition was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 12 teams in the finals are divided into four groups of three teams in a new format of the competition. Only the group winners advance to Friday’s semi-finals.

Earlier, Clara Burel kept France alive, winning the opening singles.

The 77th-ranked Burel upset Ekaterina Alexandrova, ranked 32nd, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 for her first victory over a top-50 player in her singles debut in the competition.

The Russians also won the doubles for a 2-1 overall win.

Auger-Aliassime out of contention for ATP Finals

PARIS Taylor Fritz saved the only break point he faced and converted the only break point he earned Wednesday to upset fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev 7-5, 7-6 (2) in the second round of the Paris Masters. The American, ranked 26th in the world, has been playing well in recent weeks. He beat Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals at Indian Wells last month and reached the final of the St. Petersburg Open last week. Rublev defeated Fritz 6-3, 6-1 in Dubai earlier this year. Félix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal and Pablo Carreno Busta both dropped out of contention for the ATP Finals by losing in the second round. The ninth-seeded Auger-Aliassime lost to Dominik Koepfer 6-3, 7-5, while the 12th-seeded Carreno Busta was beaten by French qualifier Hugo Gaston 6-7 (3), 6-4, 7-5. Koepfer, who saved seven match points against Andy Murray in the previous round, broke Auger-Aliassime twice in each set, winning seven straight games to take a 3-0 lead in the second. “Very disappointing. I should have done much better,” Auger-Aliassime said. “He played very well, but I fought against myself at some times.” Auger-Aliassime and Carreno Busta can no longer overtake Jannik Sinner in the race for a spot at the eight-man season-ending tournament. Also Wednesday, James Duckworth beat Lorenzo Musetti 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.