Croatia Eliminates Spain At Davis Cup Finals In Malaga

Croatia against Spain (photo: Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Kosmos Tennis)

MALAGA, November 24, 2022

It was a day of mixed emotions for Spain’s sports fans in Malaga on Wednesday. While football fans in the city centre braved the winter World Cup in Qatar on the terraces of bars and restaurants at a pleasant 25 degrees to celebrate a historic 7-0 victory for their Selección over Costa Rica, the Spanish Davis Cup team was eliminated by Croatia in front of their home crowd in the “Final Eight tournament” at the Palacio de Deportes Jose Maria Martin Carpena.

In front of about 9,000 spectators, Borna Coric set his nation on their way with a 6-4, 7-6(4) victory against Roberto Bautista Agut, before Marin Cilic completed the job, coming back to outlast Pablo Carreno Busta 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(5) in a three-hour 13 minute thriller.

“I knew it would be a really difficult match. To play Spain at home is a really tough, tough opponent,” Croatia’s team captain Vedran Martic said. “My players fought really well and fight was there on the court. Carreno Busta is a great player. Bautista Agut is a great player. Yeah, very happy that we are in the semis.”

Carreno Busta said: “It was a very close match. Probably at the beginning I played better, more aggressive, but is true that he make some mistakes with his forehand, with his serve, and it was easier for me. But after that in the second set he started to make a lot of pressure with the return, and it was more difficult to stay there.

“I think that I play a good match, but he played better and he won.”

Croatia, 2018 champion of the Davis Cup, will play Australia in the semi-finals on Friday.

Croatia defeated Spain 2-0

Quarterfinal – Palacio de Deportes Jose Maria Martin Carpena, Malaga, Spain

Borna Coric (CRO) d. Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) 6-4 7-6(4)

Marin Cilic (CRO) d. Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) 5-7 6-3 7-6(5)

Nikola Mektic/Mate Pavic (CRO) v Pablo Carreno Busta/Marcel Granollers (ESP) – not played