Russia claimed the first spot in the championship tie of the 2021 Billie Jean King Cup Finals, after they defeated the United States 2-1 in Friday's day session at the O2 Arena in Prague.

Switzerland will battle Russia for the championship, after the Swiss squad took an insurmountable 2-0 lead over Australia in the evening semifinal tie.

The Russians are back to the Billie Jean King Cup title matches for the first time since their runner-up showing in 2015. Russia dominated the preeminent national team event in women's tennis during the 2000s, winning four times in that decade. However, they have not taken home the crown since 2008.

But the Russians are now a single day away from ending that drought after overcoming the 18-time Billie Jean King Cup champion Americans in a dramatic semifinal tie. Both singles matches featured comebacks from a set down before a dominant doubles display by Russia.

Liudmila Samsonova drew first blood Friday, as the Russian outlasted former World No.3 and 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 in just under two hours.

Samsonova, who won her first WTA singles title on the grass of Berlin earlier this year, had 18 unforced errors to just two winners in the first set, but the big hitter honed in her game to ease through the final two sets and put the Russians ahead.

Danielle Collins came to the rescue for the U.S. in the second match of the day, prevailing over 2021 Roland Garros finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-7(9), 7-6(2), 6-2 in a grueling 2 hours and 42 minutes.

The first set took over an hour and the second set look nearly as long, as Collins and Pavlyuchenkova battled through the marathon. Collins ultimately cruised through the decider, converting both of her break points and winning all six of Pavlyuchenkova's second-service points in that set.

But the Russians had the last word in the doubles. Samsonova paired with Veronika Kudermetova to beat Shelby Rogers and CoCo Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-3 and clinch the tie.

Serving for the match and tie, Samsonova and Kudermetova had to stare down four break points in the final game. But the Russian tandem steeled themselves, gritting out the hold and clinching victory.

Switzerland had a much quicker path to the championship tie in the night matches. The Swiss wrapped up the semifinal tie against Australia with two routine straight-set singles matches.

Playing her first singles match of the week, Jil Teichmann was commanding as she swept to a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Australia's Storm Sanders. Teichmann reeled off the first nine games of the 63-minute encounter, then eased to the win.

This year's Olympic champion Belinda Bencic swiftly propelled her Swiss team into the championship from there, as she defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 6-2 in 68 minutes.

Bencic has dominated proceedings this week, going 3-0 in her singles matches and picking up a doubles point against the Czechs to boot.

Switzerland is seeking its first Billie Jean King Cup championship. The nation's best result was a runner-up showing to five-time champions Spain in 1998.