France's chances of claiming a maiden Hopman Cup win suffered a major setback on Tuesday when they were upset 2-1 by Italy in the mixed teams tournament.
The loss means the French pairing of Alize Cornet and Gilles Simon need to beat second-seeded Russian siblings Marat Safin and Dinara Safina to have any chance of reaching Friday's final.
The Italian team of Flavia Pennetta and Simone Bolelli, beaten on Sunday by the Russians, also remain in the hunt for the final with a tie against rank outsiders Taiwan Thursday.
Cornet beat Pennetta 7-5, 6-2 before Simon, who reached a career-high sixth ranking this week, slumped 6-3, 6-3 to Italian journeyman Bolelli. The Italians then claimed the deciding mixed doubles, 6-4, 7-6 (7/2).
"It was good news when I woke up this morning but I lost two matches, so it didn't change anything," said Simon of his new ranking.
With a couple of days to rest, Simon said the French could regroup and beat Russia on Thursday.
"We really want to play the final and we will give everything in the next match," he said.
"I won't practise too much tomorrow, to be ready on Thursday, and I think Alize is playing very good, so we are okay."
Bolelli was delighted with his performance against the young Frenchman.
"Finally, I won against a top 10, I played very well," Bolelli said. "I served very good and I played aggressive."
Cornet, who rose one place to a career-best 15 in the new WTA rankings, was also thrilled with her first win against Pennetta.
"I am proud of my game today, I had never beaten Flavia before," she said.
"It was a really good match for me, but I am really disappointed we lost in the doubles."