Italy grabs commanding lead over France in Fed Cup

Genoa, Italy ( - Sara Errani and Camila Giorgi won singles matches Saturday to give Italy a commanding advantage over France in the Fed Cup quarterfinals.

Errani notched the first point for the Italians with a 7-6 (7-2), 7-5 win over Caroline Garcia before Giorgi claimed a 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Alize Cornet for a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five tie.

Garcia had beaten Errani in a pair of meetings last year, including a first- round matchup at Wimbledon, but the Italian came through in front of the home fans.

Errani won the final six points of the first-set tiebreaker, then opened a 3-0 lead in the second set. Garcia, though, battled back and leveled the set at 4-4. Errani then earned the decisive break in the final game to finish the match.

Giorgi had the only break of the first set in the second match, then broke twice in the second to give the hosts a big edge heading into Sunday's action.

Errani and Cornet are scheduled for the first reverse singles match Sunday, with Giorgi and Garcia to follow. The doubles matchup is slated to feature the Italian duo of Karin Knapp and Roberta Vinci against Kristina Mladenovic and Pauline Parmentier.

The winner of this battle will meet the Canada-Czech Republic victor in the semifinals in April.

France is 6-3 all-time versus Italy, but the Italians have won the last three meetings.

Italy is seeking a fifth Fed Cup title in 10 years, last winning the crown in 2013. The French own two championships, the last coming in 2003.