Without excessive surprises, Spain achieved its goal. They defeated South Korea and sealed the ticket for the final phase of the Davis Cup, which will be played from November 22 to 27 in Malaga. In the Fuente de San Luís Pavilion, before some 7,000 people, Roberto Bautista and Carlos Alcaraz finished off the pass against the weakest rival in the group and prevented Serbia, who was eliminated, from causing a surprise.
Sergi Bruguera’s men go to the quarterfinals as first in the group, where they will meet in November against the Croatia of Marin Cilic and Borna Coric. To make this possible, Roberto Bautista calmed down the national team, who had just lost against Canada in a dramatic way, with a simple and easy victory against Seong Chan Hong, the Korean number 2 and who is ranked 467th in the ranking. Bautista, who has won all three of his Davis matchups, had no problems, and defeated his rival 6-1, 6-3 in less than an hour and a quarter of the game.
The triumph of the man from Castellón left Spain one point away from qualifying. It was worth both winning the following singles duel and the doubles to step into the quarterfinals and it was Carlos Alcaraz’s turn, still with the bitter taste of the comeback inflicted on him by Felix Auger-Aliassime.
The Murcian, despite his little experience in the competition, since he has only played one match against Romania at the beginning of the year before this one, gave a blow of authority against Soon Woo Kwon, whom he won 6-4 and 7- 5 in hour and 49 minutes.
Despite the score, it was not easy for Alcaraz, who lost his serve once in the first set and went 2-4 down in the second. Boosted by his audience, which he has dazzled, the winner of the recent US Open and number one in the world nailed the South Korean a 5-1 run at the end of the match to seal his third win in the Davis Cup and certify Spain’s pass to a final phase in which he will act as number one.
The handicap of the Masters Cup
Without Rafael Nadal, Spain will host Croatia at the Martín Carpena in Malaga, which came second in Group A behind the fearsome Italy, with Jannik Sinner and Matteo Berrettini in the transalpine ranks.
The final phase will be played just three days after the Turin Masters Cup, which may affect the Spanish team due to the guaranteed presence in the tournament that brings together the eight best of the Alcaraz season. The Murcian will share the stage with tennis players who are already out of Davis, such as Nadal himself or Djokovic, as well as Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas or the banned Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev.
The remainder of the Davis Cup quarterfinals will pit Italy against the United States, Germany against Canada and the Netherlands against Australia. The winner of this last meeting could be the rival of Spain in the semifinals.