Team Russia found themselves on the verge of being knocked out of the Fed Cup but bounced back to narrowly beat Japan 3-2 in the quarterfinals as the countries met for the first time ever.
Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina claimed the final doubles rubber, beating the Japanese duo of Misaki Doi and Ayumi Morita 6-2, 6-2.
"Early into the match we were a bit worried, then we started to play our game," Vesnina said in a televised interview.
Morita has nothing to blame herself for though as she won both of her singles encounters on the weekend.
Four-time champion Russia will face Slovakia in April's semifinals, while Japan, which was playing its first World Group match for seven years, will now play a relegation playoff against a second-tier team in April.