Ayumi Morita defeated Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets on Saturday to draw Japan even with host Russia in a best-of- five opening-round Fed Cup tie.
Morita needed just 64 minutes to post a 6-2, 6-2 victory over the 20th-ranked Makarova at Olympic Stadium.
In the first singles rubber, Russian Maria Kirilenko, who titled in Thailand last week, battled past 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4.
Sunday's reverse singles have Kirilenko taking on Morita and Makarova meeting Date-Krumm, while the doubles bout has a Russian team of Elena Vesnina and Margarita Gasparyan tangling with a Japanese pairing of Morita and Misaki Doi.
Four-time champion Russia is without Maria Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva.
This marks the first-ever Fed Cup meeting between Russia and Japan. The winner will meet Serbia or the Slovak Republic in a semifinal in April.