United States takes lead in Davis Cup semifinals vs France

Sloane Stephens of USA celebrates after defeating Pauline Parmentier of France during the Fed Cup semifinal singles tennis match in Aix-en-Provence, southern France, Saturday, April 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

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.