Naomi Osaka put Japan a step away from reaching the Billie Jean King Cup Finals with her 6-2, 7-6 (5) victory over Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva on Friday.

The four-time Grand Slam champion's win followed Nao Hibino's 6-1, 6-0 victory over Anna Danilina in Tokyo to give Japan a 2-0 lead in the women's team competition.

Also Friday, Australia took a 2-0 lead over Mexico in Brisbane.

Japan and Australia need a win in Saturday's reverse singles or the doubles match to advance to the Finals in November.

The eight winners the qualifiers will join defending champion Canada, runner-up Italy, host nation Spain, and a wildcard at the 12-team Finals in Seville.


Australia has been runner-up twice in the last five years and is chasing its first title since 1974 in the former Federation Cup era.

Each matchup is a best-of-five series. There are four singles matches and if necessary a doubles match.

In Brisbane, Arina Rodionova and Daria Saville gave Australia a 2-0 lead over Mexico after opening singles wins. Rodionova beat Giuliana Olmos 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 before Saville defeated Marcela Zacarias 6-1, 6-0.

The other matchups are: Brazil-Germany, France-Britain, Switzerland-Poland, USA-Belgium, Slovakia-Slovenia, and Ukraine-Romania.