Davis Cup : Djokovic sends Serbia through as France knocked out

Novak Djokovic beat Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-3 in Madrid to seal a Davis Cup quarterfinal spot for Serbia as it leads 2-0 agaisnt France in the tie.

Novak Djokovic eased past Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-3 to seal Serbia's place in the quarters.   -  Getty Images

Novak Djokovic booked Serbia's place in the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup on Thursday as he eased past Benoit Paire to send France crashing out.

Djokovic beat Paire 6-3, 6-3 in Madrid after Filip Krajinovic won a close encounter 7-5, 7-6 (7/5) against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to give Serbia a 2-0 advantage with only the doubles rubber to play.

It means France cannot advance as one of the best two runners-up by virtue of its record on sets, even if it wins the doubles.

France's early exit is a major surprise given it was the top seeds in the competition, which it has won on 10 previous occasions and was only denied an 11th success by Croatia in last year's final.

Serbia will now meet Russia on Friday and were joined in the last eight by Germany, which secured the one rubber it needed against Chile as Philipp Kohlschreiber defeated Nicolas Jarry 6-4, 6-3 in the singles.

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Germany awaits the winner of Group E, where Britain was due to play a dramatic doubles clash against Kazakhstan, with the victor going through and the loser going out.

Andy Murray could be called upon after being rested from the singles following his close match against the Netherlands' Tallon Griekspoor on Wednesday.

Britain made a strong start after Kyle Edmund played brilliantly to see off Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-3 but Dan Evans was beaten 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 by Alexander Bublik to leave the tie in the balance.

Spain is already safely through after Rafael Nadal led them to a 3-0 victory over defending champion Croatia on Wednesday.

It will face Argentina, which is guaranteed to progress as a runner-up with Russia. Australia plays Canada in the first quarterfinal later on Thursday.