In the Davis Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday, Marin Cilic of Croatia led his team to victory against Spain, the six-time defending champions who were without key players Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal.
Croatia defeated Spain to go to the Davis Cup Semifinals
With a comeback victory over 13th-ranked Pablo Carreno Busta, world number 17 Cilic of Croatia advanced to play Australia in the semifinals.
Borna Coric’s 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) victory against Roberto Bautista Agut earlier on Wednesday had put the 2005 and 2018 champions on the right track.
After spending three hours and thirteen minutes on the court, Cilic, 34, who made his Davis Cup debut in 2006, won. He lost the opening set, surrendered a break in the decider, and trailed by one-fourth in the tiebreak.
His 20 aces lessened the effects of his 15 double faults, which rocked the 10,000-person home audience at the Palacio de Deportes as Croatia, the runners-up to Russia in the 2021 final, stunned the crowd into silence.
It was a hard battle, “said Cilic.
He did acknowledge, though, that Croatia, who had lost all three of their previous Davis Cup matches with Spain, benefited by the absence of Nadal and US Open champion Alcaraz, both of whom had won 22 Grand Slam championships.
It would look quite different. Rafa has served as the team’s captain during his whole career. He is among the greatest Davis Cup competitors ever. Fantastic season for Carlos. How unfortunate that he was hurt.”
Sergi Bruguera, the captain of Spain, lamented his team’s elimination. He insisted, “I think luck had a little bit of an impact, and Cilic had a little bit more today.
In order to defeat his 21st-ranked opponent, who he had already beaten en route to winning the Cincinnati Masters title in the summer, Coric, the world’s number 26 player, blasted 14 aces past him.
Since the beginning of 2019, Bautista Agut has won seven consecutive Davis Cup matches.
When two environmental protesters sprinted onto the court and attempted to tie themselves to the net, the game was briefly stopped while security personnel wrestled them to the floor and ejected them from the venue.
The two individuals were part of the “Futuro Vegetal” movement, which calls for “the adoption of an agri-food system focused on vegetables.”
The organization posted an explanation on its Twitter account, saying, “We halted the Davis Cup to demand urgent improvements in the food system.”
The remaining quarterfinal matches on Thursday will feature Germany vs. Canada and 32-time Davis Cup champions United States vs. Italy.
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