PARIS: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Lukas Rosol 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 to give France a 2-0 lead over defending champions the Czech Republic in the Davis Cup semi-finals in Paris on Friday.
Earlier, Richard Gasquet defeated Czech number one Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in the opening rubber.
Tsonga won five games in a row from 2-2 in the first set to pull clear of Rosol, who was chosen ahead of veteran campaigner Radek Stepanek.
He stayed in total control of the match in the second set despite some big-hitting from Rosol and, when he broke again in the fourth game of the third set, there was no way back for the outgunned Czech.
Saturday’s doubles rubber sees Julien Benneteau and Gael Monfils take on Stepanek and Jiri Vesely with a win for the home pair enough to qualify France for the final.
The Czechs are seeking a third straight Davis Cup title, while France are aiming for a first win in the annual team competition since 2001.