Serbia, France sail into Davis Cup last eight

Sat Mar 7, 2015 1:10pm EST
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By Zoran Milosavljevic

(Reuters) - Novak Djokovic spurred Serbia to a 3-0 win over neighbors Croatia in the first round of the Davis Cup on Saturday and they will be joined in the quarter-finals by an equally rampant France.

Britain's progress was put on hold after they lost an enthralling doubles to the U.S. on Saturday.

Holders Switzerland, missing Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka, fell behind 2-1 at Belgium while the Czech Republic hauled themselves back against Australia.

World number one Djokovic, who was a late replacement for Viktor Troicki, teamed up with Nenad Zimonjic to blow away Marin Draganja and Franko Skugor 6-3 6-4 6-1 in Serbia's central city of Kraljevo.

The home fans, who roared on the Serbs but also gave the Croatians a warm reception throughout the tie, were given a scare in the second set when Djokovic received medical treatment for a cut on his right hand.

But they were relieved to see their hero carry on and produce one of his best doubles performances as 38-year-old Zimonjic rolled back the years.

"Novak played unbelievably well today and we are delighted to have sealed a quarter-final spot," Serbia coach Bogdan Obradovic said.

Djokovic added: "We decided that I should come in for Viktor because that was the best combination in this moment.   Continued...

Tennis - Great Britain v United States of America - Davis Cup World Group First Round - Emirates Arena, Glasgow, Scotland - 7/3/15. Great Britain's Dominic Inglot (R) and Jamie Murray during the doubles
Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Boyers