Bautista and Ramos fasten the first point of Spain

Roberto Bautista celebrates his victory against Kecmanovic. / Kai Försterling / efe

B Group

Both victories in the individual duels against Djere and Kecmanovic give the victory against Serbia despite the absence of Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz was not there, still recovering from the titanic effort of the US Open, but it was not necessary. Sergi Bruguera's Spain resolved the first tie against Serbia on the fast track and leads Group B along with Canada, who beat South Korea.

Spain risked it by giving rest to its number one, Alcaraz, who joined training this Tuesday, but still needed to rest after winning the US Open on Sunday night and traveling to Spain on Monday itself. Time ran against the Murcian, who, together with the captain, decided that it was better to reserve efforts for the next two heats.

Without Alcaraz, the one who had to show his face was Albert Ramos, a last-minute solution due to the loss announced a few weeks ago by Alejandro Davidovich. The Catalan, in his seventh match in the competition, did not fail, although he needed a real marathon to beat Laslo Djere 2-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5.

Ramos spent almost three hours on court and recovered from the loss of the first set and from 0-3 against in the third set to achieve his first Davis victory since 2018. The Serb's cramps in the third set facilitated the reaction of the Spaniard, who during several moments of the meeting was seen outside. “In games like today you go through many different emotions. There are times when it seems like you are going to win and others when it is impossible », he said after the match.

Ramos' victory paved the way for a Spain that feared starting off on the worst foot possible in the Fuente de San Luis pavilion in Valencia. Passes to the quarterfinals of the competition, which will be played at the end of November, are expensive, and every point counts, so Ramos' victory was a direct oxygen ball for Roberto Bautista, the next to go out on the track .

The Castellón native, vital to eliminating Romania in March and in the 2019 Finals, when he played despite the recent death of his father, also had to recover from an early Serbian lead. Miomir Kecmanovic, the Serbian number one against the loss of Novak Djokovic, who was removed from the tournament for personal reasons, started 3-1 in favor that he could not maintain.

Canada, next challenge

After Bautista wasted a set point in the twelfth game, the 'tie break' did not escape him. He also dominated in the second, but he was more irregular with his service and lost twice, giving Kecmanovic the opportunity to force another tiebreaker, in which Bautista did not fail either, who already has eleven wins in this competition (7-6 ( 5) and 7-6 (5)).

The point achieved against Serbia leaves Spain leader of Group B, along with Canada, which needed the doubles to beat South Korea, a priori the Cinderella of the group. Spain will face the Canadians next Friday, with the biggest threat being Felix Auger-Aliassime, their number one, in the singles. The other singles will be occupied by Vasek Pospisil, number 141 in the world, and the two of them will pair up for the doubles, except for last minute changes. A Spanish victory could already seal the passage to the elimination phase of the tournament, which will be played in Malaga from November 23 to 27. If all goes well, Alcaraz will be ready this Friday to face the Canadians.

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