Switzerland left with work to do
The Czech Republic stayed on course for a third straight Davis Cup title by booking a semi-final spot but Switzerland could lose to Kazakhstan.
The dream team of Stanislas Wawrinka and Roger Federer were expected to ease to victory in Geneva but they must both win their singles matches on Sunday after losing the doubles to Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov to trail 2-1.
Golubev had stunned Wawrinka on Friday before Federer drew the hosts level by beating Mikhail Kukushkin
Wawrinka seems to be feeling the pressure that comes with being a grand slam champion and he again was well below his best as Golubev and Nedovysov triumphed 6-4 7-6 (7/5) 4-6 7-6 (8/6).
Federer insisted Switzerland are still confident of coming through, saying on daviscup.com: "I'm not overly worried about what happened the last couple of days.
"We knew that Kazakhstan have been playing really well in Davis Cup. It's up to us now to shine and prove to ourselves that we did take the right decisions, that we are good players, and we are still the favourites for each singles match.
"But we have no more margin for error, and maybe that's going to make us play even better. I'm actually very excited."
Wawrinka will play Sunday's first match against Kukushkin before Federer takes on the impressive Golubev.
The Czechs moved into an unassailable 3-0 lead over Japan as Radek Stepanek and Lukas Rosol, who both won their singles matches on Friday, combined for a 6-4 6-4 6-4 victory against Tatsuma Ito and Yasutaka Uchiyama.
Meanwhile, France kept their hopes alive against Germany as Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra defeated Andre Begemann and Tobias Kamke 6-1 7-6 (7/5) 4-6 7-5.
The hosts endured a miserable first day in Nancy, with Benneteau beaten by Kamke before Peter Gojowczyk stunned Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.