Italy and Canada became the final two teams to reach the semifinals of the Davis Cup in Malaga, overcoming the USA and Germany in tight contests to move one step closer to glory.
Both ties were decided in the doubles after the teams split the singles.
For Italy, Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini defeated Tommy Paul and Jack Sock 6-4, 6-4 to secure a 2-1 win over the 32-time Davis Cup winners.
Lorenzo Sonego put the Italians 1-0 up after using his big serves to defeat Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 7-6 (7) before Taylor Frtiz, back from his impressive run in the ATP Finals, defeated Lorenzo Musetti 7-6 (8), 6-3 to level the tie at 1-1.
Fognini and Bolelli then held their nerves in the deciding doubles to seal their progress.
The USA’s wait for another Davis Cup title continues, a tournament they last won in 2007 under the previous format of best-of-five matches played in host countries instead of the revamped event where the final eight teams gather in one spot for a week of tennis.
Italy, meanwhile, whose only Davis Cup title came in 1976, won without its top two players with Jannik Sinner nursing an injured finger and Matteo Berrettini recovering from a foot problem.
It was a similar story in the night’s other tie with Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil teaming up to beat Germany’s Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the deciding doubles to take Canada into the next round.
Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff defeated Shapovalov 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (2) in the opener before Felix Auger-Aliassime kept Canada’s hopes alive with his 7-6 (1), 6-4 victory over Oscar Otte.
Italy and Canada will now face off in the Davis Cup semifinal while Australia takes on Croatia in the other.