Australian young guns Bernard Tomic and Ashleigh Barty kept their nation's hopes of reaching the Hopman Cup final alive by combining to defeat Italy 2-0 on Thursday.
World number 52 Tomic recorded a third successive singles win at this year's tournament when he beat world number 23 Andreas Seppi 6-3 7-5 to help Australia into a 1-0 lead in the do-or-die tie.
However, the story of Thursday night was that of 16-year-old Barty, who beat former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 6-0 6-3 in what was a surprisingly one-sided affair in Perth.
The win gave Australia an unassailable lead in the mixed team event, however, the home side will now rely on Germany to cause an upset against Serbia on Friday night.
Commenting on her win against Schiavone, Barty said: "I think this win trumps everything. The feeling I have right now - the adrenaline is just pumping through my veins.
"I played unbelievable tonight and it was an incredible feeling out there. It has to be close to one of my best performances I've ever played," she added.
Earlier, Spain advanced to the Hopman Cup final after the United States' John Isner was forced to withdraw from the tournament through injury.