KRALJEVO, Serbia (AFP) - Serbia stormed into the Davis Cup quarter-finals by taking an unassailable 3-0 lead over Croatia as last-minute replacement Novak Djokovic teamed up with Nenad Zimonjic to win the doubles rubber on Saturday.
Djokovic, standing in for Viktor Troicki, and Zimonjic convincingly defeated Croatia's Franko Skugor and Marin Draganja 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 in under two hours.
"We wanted to finish the job today, to take advantage of the fact that we won the first singles and that was done," Djokovic said.
Serbian coach Bogdan Obradovic had earlier explained he decided to rest Troicki after his three-hour victory over Croatian teenage sensation Borna Coric on Friday, when he fought back from two sets down.
Djokovic had easily beaten Mate Delic to give the 2010 winners a 2-0 lead over the Croatians, who were without US Open winner Marin Cilic due to a shoulder injury.
It was Serbia's first doubles win after four successive defeats, all involving 38-year old Zimonjic.
He last tasted victory when he teamed up with Ilija Bozoljac to beat Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States in the 2013 quarter-finals the year the Serbs finished runners-up to the Czech Republic.