(CNN) -- Novak Djokovic shrugged off an injury problem to turn out for Davis Cup holders Serbia in the doubles rubber against Sweden, but it proved in vain as the Wimbledon champion and Nenad Zimonjic slipped to defeat Saturday.
Djokovic pulled out of Friday's second singles match in Halmstadt with a knee problem, but he was not missed as his replacement Janko Tipsarevic gave Serbia a 2-0 lead.
But the new world number one, who has lost just one singles match all year, was found wanting in doubles as he and Zimonjic went down 6-4 7-6 7-5 in two hours 24 minutes to unheralded home pair Simon Aspelin and Robert Lindstedt.
"I expected myself to adjust a little bit better in the rhythm of the return -- one of my main weapons wasn't working well as I was missing a lot of returns but that's because of their serves as well, which were great, and they were playing really well at the net," Djokovic told the official Davis Cup website.
But he added: "We are coming into the third day 2-1 up which is the most important thing and tomorrow we will try to end this tie."
Djokovic, winner of the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year, is scheduled to face Michael Ryderstedt in the first of the reverse singles as Serbia bid to wrap up the quarterfinal tie.
Sweden are missing the services of world number five Robin Soderling as both teams bid to play Argentina in the semifinals.
Argentina have seen off Kazakhstan 5-0 in Buenos Aires in a match started a day earlier than the other three rubbers.
Earlier Saturday, France became the second team through to the semifinals of the sport's most prestigious team competition as they forged an unassailable 3-0 lead over Germany in Stuttgart.
Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga saw off Philipp Petzschner and Christopher Kas in straight sets, 7-6 6-4 6-4 to complete a comprehensive victory.
Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfils had put France in charge Friday with hard-fought singles victories over Florian Mayer and Philipp Kohlschreiber.
The French, beaten by Serbia in last year's final, look set to face Spain, who lead the United States 2-0 in Texas, in the last four.
Feliciano Lopez stunned the hosts by beating Mardy Fish 8-6 in the fifth and final set Friday night before David Ferrer added to home misery by dispatching Andy Roddick in straight sets.