Alcaraz and Bautista put Spain one step away from the Finals


on a cloudy daywith cooler than anything else in the usually sunny Marbella, and to the rhythm of the brass band that reminded us of the old days of the Davis Cup in the stands of the Manolo Santana court of the Puente Romano Tennis Club (expanded for 4,000 people), A solvent Spain, without Rafa Nadal, began its path to the Davis Cup Finals with the triumphs of Roberto Bautista and Carlos Alcaraz in the first points of the qualifying tie against Romania. The 34-year-old from Castellón and 15th in the world won in two sets (6-3 and 6-1 in 67 minutes) to the unknown Gabi Adrian Boitan (21st and 721st), who played decently enough until midway through the first set before falling apart. Later, the Murcian (18th and 19th) made it 2-0 for the National Team against Marius Copil, a professional tennis player, but far from his best form (he is 261st at 31 years old and was 56th in 2019), who fell 6-4 and 6-3 in 1h32.

The doubles, which Alejandro Davidovich and Pedro Martínez will play this Saturday (11:00, #Vamos) against Nicolae Frunza and Horia Tecau, could be definitive. If there is a third local victory, only one of the remaining individual matches would be disputed.

Boitan opened the scoring for the series with a brave and varied game that unsettled a somewhat cold Bautista. The winner this year in Doha, who had never seen his opponent in his life (“I didn’t know him and he surprised me,” he acknowledged later), was slow to adjust the mechanisms and suffered with the drops and the quick shots of this. However, little by little, slowly but surely, he took control of the match and found the Romanian’s flaws to score the first round with a couple of breaks.

LThe second was started by Rober with another early break and not only did he not lose the advantage, but he increased it as soon as he had the opportunity to make an overwhelming 5-1 which he immediately consolidated with his serve. After failing to help Spain in the 2021 Finals, which he missed due to injury, Bautista earned his ninth win at Davis (9-6) in his 11th appearance.

Happy debut for Alcaraz

With the logical nerves that his debut with Spain produced, delayed due to the coronavirus when he was aiming to debut in Madrid last November, Alcaraz grew As the minutes went by against a Copil who played with experience and increased the kid’s tension with a daring serve-net game and constant raises. Charlie’s success in the middle of the smoke and the smell of hamburger caused by a nearby barbecuewas learning to pass Marius with more and more precision and motivated by the advice of captain Sergi Bruguera. Thus he took the first round with a break for 6-4 and faced the second with much more confidence and ease. Much was expected of him and he did not fail on a court he knew well, because in 2021 he was a semifinalist at the Marbella ATP 250 played on the same stage.

Physically superior, Alcaraz pressed to take down Copil with the ease he has to generate power in his shots (21 winners) and the intelligence to subtract better and lower the good services of his opponent. The great hope of the Navy made little mistakes (nine unforced errors) and kept his serves with some difficulty to finish with positive feelings and receive the affectionate congratulations of the entire Spanish team On another day you’ll never forget. Not even Nadal could win his first match at Davis: he lost it against the Czech Jiri Novak in 2004 when he was still 17 years old. In that same round he later beat Stepanek and in the following rounds he beat the Frenchman Clement and the American Roddick, who was 18 and six months old. Carlos is the most precocious in that sense since that triumph of the Balearic Islands, with 18 and nine.

Results and statistics of the tie.

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