Coric upsets Bautista Agut to give Croatia lead over Spain in Davis Cup
MALAGA, Spain (AP) — Borna Coric upset Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 7-6 (4) Wednesday to give Croatia a 1-0 lead over Spain in their Davis Cup quarterfinal.
Coric hit his 12th ace to seal the win on his third match point and disappoint the partisan crowd in the southern Spanish city of Malaga.
"I like the big stage, I like the big crowd," Coric said about the 7,500 noisy fans. "It gives me an extra motivation."
Bautista Agut had just one break point in the match and couldn't convert it as last year's runner-up Croatia moved one win away from a sixth Davis Cup semifinal.
"Today, I felt very, very well on the serve and I think in the end that's what made the difference," Coric said.
Two climate change activists briefly interrupted the second set by running onto the court. They were taken away by security officials.
Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open winner, can clinch the semifinal spot for Croatia with a victory over Pablo Carreno Busta in the second singles match. The winner of will face Australia.
The 26th-ranked Coric broke his 21st-ranked opponent for a 4-3 lead in the opening set and hit an ace to convert his third set point on the indoor hardcourt.
Coric and Cilic were on the Croatian team that won a second Davis Cup title for their country in 2018. Spain is seeking a seventh Davis Cup trophy and first since 2019.
The quarterfinals wrap up Thursday, when the U.S. meets Italy, and Canada plays Germany. The semifinals are Friday and Saturday, and the title will be decided Sunday. Each matchup involves two best-of-three-set matches in singles and one in doubles.
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