Last year's Billie Jean King Cup runners-up, Switzerland, is back in the semifinals after victories by Olympic medalists Belinda Bencic and Viktorija Golubic propelled them past Canada 2-0 in Friday's group stage matches.
Switzerland will face the Czech Republic in the semifinals. On Friday night, the 11-time Billie Jean King Cup champion Czechs knocked out 18-time champions United States 2-0.
Australia will face home team Great Britain in the other semifinal in Glasgow, Scotland.
Bencic clinched Friday's tie for Switzerland by defeating Leylah Fernandez 6-0, 7-5 in the second singles match. Bencic converted six of her 10 break points to win in 89 minutes and level her head-to-head against Fernandez to 2-2.
"I feel like I’m moving really well, and I’m just trying to grind and fight for every point," Bencic said on court after her win. "I think then you get into the rhythm a little bit, and of course it feels great to be pushed by my team and just to have the heart on the sleeve."
Brilliant backhands by Bencic helped give her the first seven games of the match. Fernandez's timing clicked into gear as the contest progressed, taking the ball early to keep the second set close, but Bencic served out the match at the second time of asking to seal the tie for the Swiss.
In the day's first clash, Golubic came back from a set down to bounce 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. Andreescu narrowed Golubic's third-set lead from 4-0 to 5-4, but Golubic found sturdy serving in the last game to eke out the 2-hour and 8-minute win.
“It took a lot out of me today, and I think my team gave me so much support," Golubic said on court afterward. "They lifted me up so much because I didn’t start that well, and I think without them, it would be an easy two-set loss. But I was able to get the energy from the crowd as well, and it was a great match.”
Switzerland is still seeking their first Billie Jean King Cup title. In addition to their runner-up finish last year, they also finished second in 1998.
The Czech Republic claimed the last semifinal spot by eliminating the United States with two straight-sets wins. Marketa Vondrousova kicked off the Czechs' day with a 6-3, 6-3 dismissal of Danielle Collins in 1 hour and 12 minutes.
Vondrousova was playing just her third event back in her return from a six-month injury layoff, but she has now won her last six singles matches. Former World No.14 Vondrousova won an ITF Challenger title in Shrewsbury, Great Britain last week, pushing her back into the Top 100.
Vondrousova, the 2019 Roland Garros finalist, won 81 percent of her first-service points to top this year's Australian Open finalist Collins. Collins won a grueling 13-minute game to take an early 3-1 lead, but Vondrousova rebounded immediately, winning the next eight games in a row en route to victory.
Katerina Siniakova then clinched the tie with a 7-6(1), 6-1 victory over Coco Gauff. Siniakova, the WTA Doubles World No.1, collected the eighth Top 10 win of her career in singles by defeating World No.7 Gauff in an hour and a half.
Two breaks of serve apiece in the first set lined up the tiebreak, which Siniakova dominated. A forehand winner in the corner gave Siniakova a 4-1 advantage in the breaker, and she drew errors from Gauff from there to collect the one-set lead.
Siniakova rolled through the second set, where she converted both of her break points. Gauff, who was playing the first Billie Jean King Cup singles match of her career, misfired on 18 unforced errors in that set.
The Czech Republic has won six of the last 10 Billie Jean King Cup titles, with its last championship coming in 2018. Siniakova also clinched that tie, which came over the United States as well, by beating Sofia Kenin in the last singles match.