Sloane Stephens beat Pauline Parmentier to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead, but Kristina Mladenovic beat CoCo Vandeweghe to level the tie.
AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France (AP) Kristina Mladenovic rallied to beat CoCo Vandeweghe 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 and draw France level with defending champion United States in their Fed Cup semifinal on Saturday.
The 20th-ranked Mladenovic dropped serve five times but broke No. 16 Vandeweghe's serve six times.
Earlier, U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens struggled to put away Pauline Parmentier 7-6 (3), 7-5 at the 6,700-capacity Arena Pays d'Aix on indoor clay.
Stephens saved five set points serving at 5-4 down in the first set, and rallied from 4-3 and a break down in the second set against Parmentier.
Both players made more than 50 unforced errors each in the scrappy 2 1/2-hour match, conceding 25 break-point chances between them.
Stephens converted four of her 11 break chances, while Parmentier took only three of her 14 chances.
The reverse singles are on Sunday, followed by a doubles featuring Mladenovic and Amandine Hesse against Madison Keys and Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
The Americans hold an 11-2 winning record against the French, who won their most recent tie in 2014.
In the other semifinal, Germany trails the Czech Republic 2-0 in Stuttgart.