Carlos Alcaraz celebrates a point against Soon Woo Kwon. / BIEL ALIÑO/EFE

Spain top their group and make it to the Davis Cup tennis quarter-finals

The national team beat South Korea on Sunday to qualify for the upcoming knockout stage to be held in Malaga in November

ENRIC GARDINER

Spain booked their place in the knockout phase of the Davis Cup as they finished first in the group stages by beating South Korea 3-0 on Sunday night. They will now face Croatia in the quarter-finals, set to be played in Malaga between 22 and 27 November.

The defeat to Canada in Friday's tie meant that Spain had to beat South Korea to confirm their place in the next stage, as Serbia were looking like they were going to cause an upset.

But Roberto Bautista and Carlos Alcaraz quickly put those doubts to rest, with both players winning their singles' matches against the weakest team in the group.

Bautista was the first to calm the Spanish nerves, comfortably seeing off Seong-Chan Hong 6-1 and 6-3. Hong, who is ranked world number 467, made it easy pickings for his opponent, who made it three wins from three so far in the Davis Cup.

A test for Alcaraz

Thanks to Bautista's win, Spain needed to take at least a point from one of the following two matches.

Alcaraz had a tougher time than Bautista, but the US Open winner defeated Soon Woo Kwon 6-4 and 7-5 in just under two hours. The 19-year-old had his serve broken in the first set but still went on to win it, though it took longer than expected.

Kwon recomposed himself and handed Alcaraz two more service breaks to put himself 4-2 up on the Spaniard. But the youngster went on to win five of the next six games and seal a second point for Spain.

Spain will next play against Croatia in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup at the end of November in Malaga's Martin Carpena sport's arena. They will be joined by Canada, Italy, United States, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia.