Ostrava, Czech Republic (SportsNetwork.com) - Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova won the opening singles matches to give the reigning Fed Cup champion and host Czech Republic a 2-0 lead over France in their semifinal on Saturday.
Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, beat Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 6-4 after Safarova fought off five match points to escape with a 4-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-1 victory over Caroline Garcia.
The Czechs topped the Germans in last year's final to capture their third title in the last four years.
Kvitova can secure a spot in another final for her country on Sunday in the first reverse singles match against Garcia.
The winner in Ostrava will face the Germany-Russia victor in the World Group final in November.