The Davis Cup final between Belgium and Britain will go ahead next week despite security concerns following the Paris attacks, the International Tennis Federation said yesterday.
Belgium’s football friendly with Spain, scheduled for last night in Brussels, was cancelled amid safety issues, but the ITF was confident the final in Ghent, 35 miles from the Belgian capital, will not be affected. Last night’s friendly match between Germany and the Netherlands was also called off at short notice due to the threat of an attack at the stadium in Hanover.
The three-day Davis Cup final starts a week on Friday at the Flanders Expo. A sell-out crowd of 13,000 is expected.
“The ITF, Royal Belgian Tennis Federation, and associated partners are continuing with preparations for the Davis Cup… with the emphasis on security operations,” an ITF statement said.
“The ITF is aware of the cancellation of the Belgian versus Spain international friendly football match. The ITF understands that it was the Belgian FA that took this decision after consultation with the Belgian government. Other events in Ghent this week, including a cycling race and a large trade fair, are going ahead as planned.”
Andy Murray will spearhead the British team against the Belgians, led by David Goffin. Murray thrashed Goffin 6-1, 6-0 at the Paris Masters this month on an indoor hard court. The Davis Cup final will be on indoor clay.
The British team is unchanged from the one which beat Australia in the semis, and Murray is joined by his brother Jamie, James Ward, Kyle Edmund, and Dominic Inglot. Britain have not won the Davis Cup since 1936 and last reached the final in 1978.