Carlos Alcaraz leads Spain to 2022 Davis Cup quarter-finals, JAKARTA — World number one Carlos Alcaraz secured Spain’s place in the Davis Cup quarter-finals on Sunday Spanish time by beating South Korea’s Kwon Soon-woo in straight sets.

The US Open champion won 6-4, 7-6 (7/1) over his 74th-ranked opponent in his hometown of Valencia, after Roberto Bautista Agut beat Hong Seong-Chan 6-1, 6- 3.

After a shock 1-2 defeat against Canada on Friday in which Alcaraz lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime, Spain won the singles against South Korea.

“Playing the Davis Cup here is an honor for me,” said Alcaraz. “But it’s better to come here to be world number one and US Open champion, to share this moment with everyone, my family, my friends.”

Ranked first in Group B ahead of Canada, Spain will face Croatia in the quarter-finals in November, in front of their home crowd in Malaga. Meanwhile, Serbia, who finished third, were eliminated.

In Hamburg, Germany took first place in Group C ahead of Australia after Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz’s doubles win 6-4, 6-4 over Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell.

The game saw the hosts win 2-1.

In singles action, Thanasi Kokkinakis beat Oscar Otte 7-6 (8/6), 6-1 to retain Australia after Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff beat Purcell 6-1, 7-5.

Germany and Australia have already secured the top two spots in Group C after beating France and Belgium early in the group stage.

Germany then meet Canada, while Australia takes on the Netherlands.

The Netherlands finished the group stage unbeaten in Group D where Andy Murray’s England claimed third place by beating Kazakhstan hard, where every set was a tie-break as Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski took defeated Alexander Bublik and Aleksandr Nedovyesov 7-6(7/2), 6-7(9/11), 7-6(7/4).

In Bologna, Croatia qualified for the quarter-finals thanks to Italy’s 2-1 win over Sweden in Group A.

Croatia, 2021 finalists, started the competition with a 3-0 defeat against Italy before reacting against Sweden (2-1) then Argentina (3-0).

The Croatian team took second place, qualifying behind Italy, while third-placed Sweden were eliminated.

Italy, who finished the group stage unbeaten and already qualified, will next face the United States who are second in Group D behind the Netherlands.

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Zera Carpenter

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