France became just the seventh team to come back from 0-2 down in the World Group as they came back to stun Italy in Genoa.
The opening day was all Italy as Sara Errani got the tie underway with a 76(2) 75 win over Caroline Garcia before Camila Giorgi gave Italy a 2-0 lead when she defeated Alize Cornet 64 62.
French captain Amelie Mauresmo made a change for Day 2, bringing in Kristina Mladenovic to face Errani and the gamble paid off with Mladenovic playing some sensational tennis to win 64 63 and keep French hopes alive.
Giorgi put Italy one set away from the semifinals when she won the opener of her rubber with Garcia 64 but the French fought back agains to secure a stunning 46 60 62 victory and force a deciding doubles rubber.
Mladenovic and Garcia were chosen to take on arguably the top doubles pair in the world in Italy's Errani and Roberta Vinci. Vinci had never lost in 18 Fed Cup doubles rubbers. However, she was powerless to resist the French pair who swept through to a 61 62 win and sent France to the semifinals.