Vera Zvonareva powered Russia into their first Fed Cup final in three years when she beat Roberta Vinci 6-4 6-2 in the first reverse singles to give the home team a 3-0 lead against defending champions Italy.
Jarmila Groth marked her first Fed Cup appearance for Australia with a shock win against French Open champion Francesca Schiavone as holders Italy shared the opening singles in their first round tie in Hobart on Saturday.
bronze medallist pair of Sania Mirza and Rushmi Chakravarthi
lost the decisive doubles rubber as India suffered a 1-2 defeat against Uzbekistan and faced relegation to the Asia Oceania Group II in the Fed Cup.
United States captain Mary Joe Fernandez has gambled boldly with her selections for the opening singles against holders Italy in the Fed Cup finals, a move applauded by former world number one Tracy Austin.