London: Novak Djokovic`s first outing since he won the Wimbledon crown ended in disappointment when he and Nenad Zimonjic failed to earn Davis Cup champions Serbia the winning point in their quarter-final tie against Sweden on Saturday.
Six days after conquering the All England Club, world number one Djokovic would have fancied his chances of wrapping up the tie for Serbia as his team mates had won both of the opening singles.
However, Djokovic, who sat out Friday`s action with a knee niggle, and Zimonjic stumbled and stuttered to a 6-4, 7-6, 7-5 defeat by Simon Aspelin and Robert Lindstedt in Halmstad.
Serbia will now hope Djokovic will be back in action on Sunday as they need to win one of the two reverse singles if they are to keep alive their chances of defending their title.
In Stuttgart, France secured their passage into the last four when Michael Llodra and Jo Wilfried Tsonga eased past Germany`s Christopher Kas and Philipp Petzschner 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 to give the nine-times champions an unbeatable 3-0 lead.
"I knew the tie was going to be close and difficult, even though we`ve won by Saturday night - all the matches were really tight, and I`m really glad the French players took it so seriously and played with a lot of heart," France captain Guy Forget told reporters.
In the semi-finals, which will take place in September, France will face either Spain or the United States.
Despite the absence of Rafa Nadal, Spain appear to be in pole position to secure their place in the last four as they hold a 2-0 lead in the tie in Texas.
In the only tie to feature two nations who have never won the team event, Argentina have already thumped Kazakhstan 5-0, with Juan Monaco and Juan Ignacio Chela finishing off the whitewash with wins in the reverse singles on Saturday.
The tie in Buenos Aires was being held from Thursday to Saturday due to municipal elections in Argentina on Sunday.