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Djokovic returns but Sweden stays alive in Davis Cup



Halmstad, Sweden (Sports Network) - Novak Djokovic returned to play Saturday after sitting out Friday's Davis Cup singles openers with a knee injury, but he was unable to lift Serbia into the semifinals as the Swedish duo of Robert Lindstedt and Simon Aspelin pulled out a doubles win to stay alive in the best-of-five tie.

Djokovic, the newly-anointed No. 1 player in the world after his triumph at Wimbledon last weekend, watched Friday as teammates Viktor Troicki and Janko Tipsarevic won singles matches to stake the defending Davis Cup champs to a 2-0 lead. He returned on Saturday with Nenad Zimonjic in hopes of clinching the quarterfinal matchup for Serbia.

Instead, Lindstedt and Aspelin turned an early break into a 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 triumph that kept Sweden alive for another day.

The Serbs, who beat France last December for their first-ever Davis Cup crown, still need just one win in Sunday's reverse singles action to advance to the semifinals.

Tipsarevic is scheduled to get the first chance on Sunday against Michael Ryderstedt. Tipsarevic took Djokovic's spot in Friday's rotation and gave Serbia its second point when Ervin Eleskovic retired in the second set with a knee injury.

Troicki, who earned the first point Friday with a four-set win over Ryderstedt, and Eleskovic are slated for the potential fifth and deciding rubber, although Djokovic could replace either of his teammates on Sunday. If Eleskovic is unable to play, Lindstedt or Aspelin would have to take his place.

The Serbs and Swedes have split eight previous Davis Cup matchups, all when Serbia was part of the former Yugoslavia. Sweden, which is playing without the fifth-ranked Robin Soderling, is a seven-time Davis Cup champ.

Sunday's winner will face Argentina in September's semifinals. The Argentines have already clinched their quarterfinal tie against Kazakhstan.

07/09 12:36:27 ET