PRAGUE, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova rallied from a acceptable down to bushed Alize Cornet connected Wednesday to assistance the Russian Tennis Federation oust defending champions France and scope the Billie Jean King Cup semi-finals for the archetypal clip since 2015.
The RTF team, whose 5 players successful Prague are ranked wrong the world's apical 40, needed to triumph conscionable 1 lucifer successful their 2nd circular robin necktie successful Group A aft blanking the Canadians 3-0 successful Tuesday's opener.
Ekaterina Alexandrova mislaid the archetypal rubber to Clara Burel leaving Pavlyuchenkova, the highest ranked among the Russian broadside astatine 12th, needing to triumph her lucifer against the 59th-ranked Cornet to debar leaving their destiny hanging till the doubles.
Cornet showed a batch of bosom against the big-hitting Russian to triumph the opening acceptable but Pavlyuchenkova recovered an other cogwheel and immoderate much powerfulness to borderline the gruelling contention 5-7 6-4 6-2 successful 2 hours and 23 minutes.
Pavlyuchenkova broke Cornet's service 3 times successful the deciding acceptable and converted her archetypal lucifer constituent with an immaculate driblet volley earlier breaking into a jig with her squad mates connected court.
Under the tournament's caller format, 12 teams person been divided into 4 groups of round-robin play and the radical winners advancement to Friday's semi-finals, with the title necktie scheduled connected Saturday.
France, who mislaid their opening necktie against Canada 2-1, came into Wednesday's contention trailing the Russians 6-3 successful head-to-head meetings.
Alexandrova, ranked 45 places higher than satellite fig 77 Burel, made a beardown commencement successful the opening singles rubber earlier the 20-year-old Frenchwoman launched an unthinkable fightback to triumph 3-6 6-4 6-3.
Making her singles debut for the 2019 champions, Burel won six consecutive games betwixt the extremity of the 2nd acceptable and the 3rd acceptable arsenic Alexandrova's unforced errors went up.
Burel sealed the contention astatine the O2 Arena's Centre Court erstwhile Alexandrova committed 2 consecutive treble faults.
The Russians, who won the erstwhile Fed Cup 4 times betwixt 2004-2008, volition conscionable the winners of Group C, comprising 18-time winners United States, Spain and Slovakia, connected Friday.
Slovakia are starring the radical but the positions volition beryllium wide aft Spain's necktie against the United States successful the evening league connected Wednesday.
Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly successful Mumbai; editing by Christian Radnedge
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.