Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli have lost their Davis Cup doubles match against Italy 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (3).
The Swiss now lead the best-of-five series 2-1, with two singles matches to be played on Sunday.
Swiss captain Severin Luthi selected 117th-ranked Chiudinelli for Saturday's match in Genoa in place of world number one Roger Federer, saying the change was purely tactical, and that there was no problem with Federer.
"We all know he's had a very heavy schedule over the last days and weeks, so we preferred that he rest today and be ready for tomorrow," Luthi said.
Federer lost in five sets to Juan Martin del Potro in the US Open final on Monday and he is still reportedly getting over jet leg from his trip across the Atlantic.
"For sure to have Roger on the team is always an advantage, but we knew we had a chance with this team - the Italians just played better today," Luthi said.
Italy also made a change, with Simone Bolelli (ATP 64) replacing Fabio Fognini alongside Potito Starace (ATP 90).
Wawrinka beat Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 and Federer defeated Bolelli 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 in Friday's opening singles matches. Reverse singles are scheduled for Sunday on the red clay courts at the Valletta Cambiaso club.
The winner will play in the World Group next year.
swissinfo.ch and agencies
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