Spain into ATP Cup quarters after Bautista Agut victory

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Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain serves to Go Soeda of Japan during their match at the ATP Cup in Perth, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Trevor Collens)
Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain serves to Go Soeda of Japan during their match at the ATP Cup in Perth, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Trevor Collens)

Perth, Australia (AP) — Spain advanced to the quarterfinals of the ATP Cup even before Rafael Nadal stepped on to the court Wednesday at the Perth Arena.

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Spain, which won the Davis Cup in Madrid with a finals victory over Canada, stayed in the hunt for its second international team victory in seven weeks when Roberto Bautista Agut beat Japan’s Go Soeda 6-2, 6-4.

Japan needed to beat Spain 3-0 in order for the Nadal-led team not to advance to the Final Eight in Sydney beginning Thursday. Nadal was scheduled to play the next singles match against Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan.

In other early matches on the final day of group play, Serbia, which had already qualified for the quarterfinals, had a winning 2-0 lead over Chile in Group A. Dusan Lajovic beat Nicolas Jarry 6-2, 7-6 (3) before Novak Djokovic defeated Cristian Garin 6-3, 6-3.

The six group winners and two best second-place finishers advance to the finals in Sydney.

In the quarterfinal lineup for Thursday at Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney, Australia plays Britain followed by Russia taking on the Group E winner, which will be decided later Wednesday in Sydney. Croatia, 2-0, faces Argentina in the late match.

On Friday, Serbia takes on the yet-to-be determined second runner-up — likely Canada or Belgium — while Spain plays the first runner-up in the other quarterfinal.