Monfils puts France ahead in Guadeloupe
BAIE-MAHAULT, Guadeloupe (AP) Gilles Simon overcame a sloppy start to beat Vasek Pospisil in straight sets and give France a 2-0 lead over Canada in their Davis Cup first-round tie with Yannick Noah as the team's new captain.
Simon trailed 5-0 in the opening set before rallying past Pospisil 7-5, 6-3, 6-3.
Gael Monfils earlier eased past Frank Dancevic 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 with a solid display in which he made just 17 unforced errors.
Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are set to take on Philip Bester and Pospisil in Saturday's doubles rubber.
In hot and humid weather conditions, Monfils needed just 85 minutes to dispatch the 245th-ranked Dancevic on the clay court of the 8,000-seat Velodrome Amedee Detraux, the biggest stadium in Guadeloupe.
Monfils, whose father comes from Guadeloupe, was initially reluctant to play there due to the long trip. He said after the match playing in Guadeloupe was ''a dream.''
''This is so far the biggest moment in my little career,'' Monfils said.
France is playing a Davis Cup tie in the French Caribbean islands for the first time after Noah convinced the French federation to stage the contest away from the mainland.
Monfils sealed the match with a backhand down the line, then pointed a finger toward the stands and tapped his heart with his hand.
Noah, who replaced Arnaud Clement following a disappointing 2015 campaign, is captaining the team for the third time after guiding France to Davis Cup titles in 1991 and 1996. He also led France to its maiden victory in the Fed Cup in 1997.
Canada is without its injured top player Milos Raonic, and also missing doubles specialist Daniel Nestor who didn't travel because of an unspecified family matter.