Gilles Simon bounced back to outlast Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany in five sets and give France a 1-0 lead in the first round of the Davis Cup on Friday.
Simon won 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, and reached the final.