Djokovic beaten as Swedes hit back
Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic suffered a rare defeat on Saturday when he and Serb doubles partner Nenad Zimonjic lost 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5 to Simon Aspelin and Robert Lindstedt as Sweden hit back in the Davis Cup quarter-finals.sports Updated: Jul 09, 2011 22:02 IST
Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic suffered a rare defeat on Saturday when he and Serb doubles partner Nenad Zimonjic lost 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5 to Simon Aspelin and Robert Lindstedt as Sweden hit back in the Davis Cup quarter-finals.
World number one Djokovic, beaten just once in singles all year, missed Friday's first day of the clash in Halmstad with a knee injury as defending champions Serbia opened up a 2-0 lead.
But he was unable to repeat the magic which has taken him to the top of the world rankings, as well as eight titles in 2011, as seven-time champions Sweden clung onto their outside hopes of making the semi-finals.
On Friday, Serbia had taken control with world number 16 Viktor Troicki beating Michael Ryderstedt 6-3, 6-1, 6-7 (6/8), 7-5 in the first singles rubber.
World number 29 Janko Tipsarevic then stepped in for Djokovic and enjoyed a comfortable afternoon when debutant Ervin Eleskovic, the world number 355, retired with a knee injury after the Serb had established a 6-2, 1-0 lead.
The winners of the tie will face Argentina in September's semi-finals.
In Buenos Aires, Argentina took a 4-0 lead over Kazakhstan when Juan Ignacio Chela defeated Evgeny Korelev 2-6, 6-2, 6-0.
The South Americans had already wrapped up the tie on Friday when Chela and Eduardo Schwank saw off Yuriy Schukin and Korolev 6-3, 6-2, 7-5.
Juan Monaco defeated Andrey Golubev 6-3, 6-0, 6-4 and former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro beat Mikhail Kukushkin 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 in Thursday's opening singles.
Nine-time champions France also made the semi-finals when Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame Germany's Philipp Petzschner and Christopher Kas 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 6-4 in Stuttgart.
On Friday, Richard Gasquet came from two sets down to beat German number one Florian Mayer 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 before Gael Monfils beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6, (7/3), 7-6 (7/5), 6-4.
The French will now face either the United States or Spain in September.
"Whoever we face in the semi-final will be a big task," said Llodra.
"We'd prefer to face the United States at home."
Spain, chasing their third trophy in four years, finished Friday's opening day in Austin, Texas, 2-0 ahead of the US after world number six David Ferrer defeated 10th-ranked hometown star Andy Roddick 7-6 (11/9), 7-5, 6-3.
Spain, playing without the resting Rafael Nadal, had seized the lead in the opening singles when Feliciano Lopez outlasted eighth-ranked Mardy Fish in a four-hour showdown 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 8-6.
Roddick, who fell to 33-12 in Davis Cup singles, double faulted on the final two points of the match.
"I tried to win the entire match in the third set," Roddick said.
"If I lose at Wimbledon, it's on me. It's tough. I don't beat myself up over that, but when I let down my team, it hurts more. This loss hurts more than my selfish losses."
The Americans need a victory from the world's top-ranked doubles pair, brothers Mike and Bob Bryan, over Lopez and Fernando Verdasco on Saturday to keep their hopes of advancement alive into Sunday's reverse singles matches.
First Published: Jul 09, 2011 22:00 IST