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DAVIS CUP

Spain edge past Croatia to reach Davis Cup quarter-finals

The five-time Davis Cup winners will take on the Serbia of Novak Djokovic in the last eight in April after beating Croatia 3-2 in Osijek.

Update:
Spain edge past Croatia to reach Davis Cup quarter-finals
ANTONIO BATEFE

Roberto Bautista Agut and Pablo Carreño Busta won their singles rubbers on Sunday as Spain sealed a berth in the Davis Cup quarter-finals with a 3-2 victory over 2016 runners-up Croatia.

Carreño Busta beats Skugor to seal win

In Osijek, 16th-ranked Bautista Agut forced a decisive fifth rubber as he defeated Franko Skugor 6-1, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 7-6 (8/6).

And Carreño Busta stepped up to atone for Friday's shock loss to 223-ranked Skugor by saw off Nikola Mektic 7-6 (7/4), 6-1, 6-4.

Serbia up next for Spanish

Five-time champions Spain will play Novak Djokovic's Serbia in April for a place in the final four.

"I knew it would not be easy for us, that we would be facing difficult matches. It is always difficult to play against hosts," Bautista Agut told reporters.

Croatia were leading 2-1 after a marathon doubles clash on Saturday in which Marin Draganja and Mektic beat Feliciano López and Marc López 6-7, (6/8), 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/5), 2-6, 6-4.

Carreño Busta bounces back from surprise loss

Croatia, playing without national number one Marin Cilic, had been leading after the opening rubber on Friday in which Skugor unexpectedly defeated Carreño Busta 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (8/6).

Skugor saw off the 26th-ranked Spaniard, who was playing after 14-time major winner Rafael Nadal opted out of the tie.

In the second rubber on Friday, Bautista Agut overcame Davis Cup debutant Ante Pavic, ranked 486 in the world, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.

Croatia coach hails hosts' effort

"Before this clash there were forecasts that we would not win a single set and we managed to take it into the uncertainty of the last day and the fifth match," Croatia coach Zeljko Krajan said.

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