Davis Cup | Play off
Spain is playing this weekend in Marbella for the pass to the final phase of the Davis Cup
Carlos Alcaraz and Roberto Bautista will be the great assets of Spain to eliminate Romania in Marbella and reach the Davis Cup Finals for the third year. The task should be, a priori, little more than a formality, due to the low level of the Romanian team. While Bautista will open this Friday (12:00 p.m.) the tie against Gabri Adrian Boitan, number 721 in the world, Alcaraz will play the second match against Marius Copil, number 261. The doubles (on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. ) will be formed by Alejandor Davidovich and Pedro Martínez, although it is subject to change, and the Spanish couple will face Horia Tecau and Nicolae Frunza.
The venue chosen by the Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET) has been the Puente Romano Club in Marbella, which already hosted the tie against Great Britain in 2018, and which will also serve as a tribute to Manolo Santana, who died in 2021. Thus, the RFET He will pay tribute to him after the doubles match on Saturday, to remember and honor the figure of the pioneer of tennis in Spain.
In sports, this crossing will be the debut of Alcaraz in the Davis Cup team. The Murcian should have played the last Finals in Madrid, but a positive for covid at the last minute separated him from the tournament and from making his debut with the national team captained by Sergi Bruguera. Now the opportunity has come for him among the 20 best players in the world and with his second title in his pocket, the one he won a couple of weeks ago in Rio de Janeiro. “Representing my country has been a dream since I was little and I am finally going to be able to achieve it,” Alcaraz acknowledged.
Next to him will be Bautista, who won the Doha tournament a few weeks ago, his first title since 2019, Alejandro Davidovich and Pedro Martínez, who inaugurated his trophy locker last week on the clay of Santiago de Chile and has been called by Bruguera to replace Marcel Granollers.
If Spain manages to overcome the tie, it will qualify for the Davis Cup Finals in 2022, which does not yet have an announced venue. The group stage will be played from September 14 to 18, while the knockout stage will be played from November 23 to 27, which is a change from the last two editions, in which everything was played in a period of ten days in Madrid. Serbia, the United Kingdom and Croatia are already qualified for the group stage, while Russia, the current champion and who had a guaranteed passport for it, has been eliminated by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) due to the war in Ukraine.