Jannik Sinner beat Argentine Francisco Cerundolo on Friday to give Italy a winning 2-0 lead in their Davis Cup group stage tie in Bologna.
Sinner, the world number 11, won 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 in the second rubber.
Earlier Matteo Berrettini crushed Sebastian Baez 6-2, 6-3 in 71 minutes.
That left Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini to try to win the doubles and improve Italy’s advantage in rubbers won and lost which is a tiebreaker, should more than two nations finish tied at the top of the four-team group.
Italy top Group A with two wins out of two ahead of Sweden and Croatia who have both won one and lost one,
Italy face Sweden in the last tie in Bologna on Sunday.
In Valencia, Roberto Bautista Agut fought back from a set down to beat Canadian Vasek Pospisil 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. That set the stage for Carlos Alacaraz, playing his first match since winning the US Open and becoming world No 1 to clinch the tie against Felix Auger-Aliassime.
In Hamburg, Jan-Lennard Struff beat Zizou Bergs 6-4 7-6 (11-9) to give Germany the lead over Belgium before David Goffin fought back from a set down to win 3-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-3.