Argentina and Russia reached the Davis Cup semifinals yesterday while defending champion Croatia was eliminated.
In the semifinals in September, the United States will play at Russia and Argentina will host Australia, which won its 28th and last championship in 2003.
Argentina held on to oust Croatia, 3-2, with Juan Ignacio Chela rallying to beat Sasa Tuksar, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-5), in the final match. Russia beat host France, 4-1, after Dmitry Tursunov downed Richard Gasquet, 6-1, 3-6, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 7-5, in the fourth match.
Australia advanced a day earlier and yesterday completed a 5-0 sweep of visiting Belarus.
In Zagreb, Croatia, Tuksar took a one-set lead but couldn't stop Chela. Tuksar, who squandered a 3-1 lead and a set point in the third set, has won only one ATP match in his career -- and that was when his opponent retired with an injury.
''I felt that the third set decided the match," Tuksar said. ''I also felt I deserved to play a fifth set, but unfortunately it did not happen."
In Pau, France, Tursunov saved a break point in the fourth set and then overtook Gasquet in the first reverse singles. The 34th-ranked Russian had 22 aces.
''I played well, but I came up against a player who just played like crazy," Gasquet said. ''Tursunov played the level of someone in the top 10. He felt no pressure in the fourth and fifth sets. I thought he would crumble, but he didn't."