Nicolas Peifer was among the French team as they beat Sweden 2-1 ©ITF

France made a winning start to their men's BNP Paribas World Team Cup title defence by beating Sweden in their opening match in Sardinia.

The holders made a perfect start with Frédéric Cattaneo easing to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Henrik Harstedt in the first singles rubber of the wheelchair tennis tournament.

Stefan Olsson put the Pool A match back in the balance by beating France's Nicolas Peifer 6-3, 7-5 to level the scores.

Peifer would be joined by world number one Stephane Houdet in the decisive doubles match, with the French pair triumphing 6-1, 6-0 against Harstedt and Olsson.

France share top spot in the pool with Brazil, with the South American qualifiers securing a 2-1 win over Australia in their first match.

Pool D began with a comfortable 3-0 win for third seeds Argentina against The Netherlands, while Spain edged Belgium 2-1.

One match was played in each of the four women’s World Group pools today.

Gustavo Fernandez's Argentina were 3-0 winners in the men's event ©Getty Images
Gustavo Fernandez's Argentina were 3-0 winners in the men's event ©Getty Images

Thailand emerged as 2-1 winners against Russia in Pool A, while China earned a convincing 3-0 victory over Pool B rivals Kenya.

The United States secured a narrow 2-1 win over hosts Italy in Pool C, with Switzerland matching the scoreline in their Pool D success against China.

Quad and junior events are also set to take place at the tournament, which will take place until May 7.

Action on the Italian island is taking place across two venues, the Baia di Conte and the Alghero Tennis Club.