France took a 2-0 lead over Argentina but the Czech Republic was tied 1-1 with Serbia after first day's singles in the Davis Cup semifinals.
Michael Llodra put the French ahead against Argentina in Lyon with a 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 win over Juan Monaco. France's Gael Monfils then followed up with 27 aces in a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over David Nalbandian in the second singles match. No.2 Novak Djokovic was a late withdrawal from Serbia's team for the first day, saying he was still tired after his run to the U.S. Open final, and his replacement Viktor Troicki lost the opener 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 to Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic in Belgrade.
But Janko Tipsarevic hauled Serbia back into contention by beating Tomas Berdych 7-5, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (5).
Djokovic has returned in timely fashion to Serbia's team for the Davis Cup World Group semifinal against the Czech Republic, tennis officials said Saturday.
Djokovic, who missed the first singles match through what was believed to be stomach problems, replaced Viktor Troicki and joined Nenad Zimonjic in the first doubles against Czech pair Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych.