Davis Cup: Djokovic beaten in doubles as Serbia slump

Djokovic last lost in the tournament in 2011 -- against Juan Martin del Potro through a retirement in the semi-finals that Serbia lost 3-2 to Argentina and alongside Zimonjic in a 4-1 win over Sweden in the first round that year.

Novak Djokovic (in foreground) last lost in the Davis Cup in 2011.   -  AP

Novak Djokovic suffered his first Davis Cup defeat in five years when he and Serbian teammate Nenad Zimonjic lost their doubles rubber to Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov on Saturday.

The 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 7-5 scoreline gave Kazakhstan a 2-1 lead ahead of the reverse singles on Sunday where the winner will go on to face either defending champions Great Britain or Japan in the quarter-finals.

On Sunday, world number one Djokovic will face Mikhail Kukushkin where he will try to keep the tie alive.

The final singles is due to feature Viktor Troicki against Nedovyesov.

Djokovic last lost in the tournament in 2011 -- against Juan Martin del Potro through a retirement in the semi-finals that Serbia lost 3-2 to Argentina and alongside Zimonjic in a 4-1 win over Sweden in the first round that year.

In the opening match of the World Group tie on Friday, Djokovic, playing for the first time in front of his home fans since the Davis Cup against Croatia in March last year, easily defeated Nedovyesov, the world number 200, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3.

Although suffering from minor problems with his left shoulder, Djokovic appeared recovered from an eye infection which forced him to retire from his Dubai ATP quarter-final last week, ending his streak of 17 successive finals.

But in the second singles, Kazakhstan fought back to level 1-1, as their top player Kukushkin, the world 79, defeated world number 23 Troicki 7-5, 6-2, 6-4. Serbia won the Davis Cup in 2010, led by Djokovic.