FRANKFURT — Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon both won their opening matches to give France a 2-0 lead over Germany in the first round of the Davis Cup on Friday.
Monfils served 17 aces to defeat German No. 1 Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 7-5, 7-6 (4) in 2 hours, 19 minutes to put the 2014 runner-up in a commanding position ahead of Saturday’s doubles match.
Earlier, Simon bounced back to outlast Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-7 (1), 6-2, 10-8 in 4 hours, 24 minutes on the indoor hard court. The Frenchman used a series of unforced errors by Struff to break serve for a decisive 9-8 lead in the final set and served out the match.
Struff finished with 99 unforced errors to 81 winners. Simon had 60 winners but also fewer unforced errors at 75. Both men finished with 17 aces each.
Germany has not beaten France since 1938. France won in the quarterfinals last year, after losing the opening singles, before reaching the final.
German hopes are now pinned on Benjamin Becker and Andre Begemann beating Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut in the doubles.