Brazil’s Belluci knocks Spain out of Davis Cup

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Brazil’s Belluci knocks Spain out of Davis Cup

Thomaz Bellucci defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to give Brazil an unassailable 3-1 lead over Spain in a Davis Cup World Group playoff on Sunday, dropping the five-time champions to the zone groups for the first time since 1996.

Bellucci, Brazil’s No. 1 player, converted all three of his break points in the final set to close out the match in 2 hours, 59 minutes at the Ibirapuera indoor arena, putting Brazil back in the main group for the second year in a row.

Spain, playing without Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer, came into Sunday trailing 2-1 and needed to win both reverse singles matches to keep its spot in the World Group next year. Bellucci had a slow start in the first set but won five straight games to rally from 4-1 down.

The 15th-ranked Bautista Agut, Spain’s top player for the clay-court series, tied the match after converting a break point early in the second set, but the Brazilian moved ahead again after breaking to go up 5-3 before closing out the third set.

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