Andy Murray is hoping as many British fans as possible make the trip to Ghent this weekend to back him and the rest of the Davis Cup team against Belgium, despite security concerns.
Brussels, just 35 miles away from the Flanders Expo, the venue for the final, is still in lockdown and on the highest security alert after the bombings and shootings in Paris 12 days ago. But the security threat level in Ghent remains at level three, the same as London where the ATP World Tour finals were held last week and where Premier League football matches have gone without a hitch since the bombings.
The Great Britain team arrived on Monday, a day later than planned due to the security concerns, but now they are here, Murray and his team-mates are just getting on with the job.
“I think it’s not for me to give people advice on security,” Murray said. “That isn’t my thing. But obviously it’s a different situation in Brussels than it is here. I know a lot of fans were staying there and planning on travelling through there. Obviously, listen to the right people, if you’re doing that.
“But here in Ghent, everything seems fine. It’s very quiet. I think it’s a really nice city. Yeah, I hope as many fans can travel over as possible to give us the best support.
“Obviously, I understand if people make another decision
because of what’s been happening in Brussels. A lot of people are travelling through there.”
Tim Henman chose not to travel to the final with his three daughters but there was never a doubt among the team. Protected on all sides by the security forces, the team are simply getting on with the job.
“I was always planning on coming and playing,” Jamie Murray said. “Things have happened that made it more concerning but we’re here, we’re training. Business as normal. We’re ready to play on Friday.”
Last week, Murray claimed that he refused to feel frightened every time he stepped on a tennis court – to behave like that would be to give in to the terrorists. But he is not using the final to send out any message; he just wants to get on with the tie.
“I didn’t necessarily think of it like that, that we were here to set an example,” Murray said. “I think we just listened to all of the right people. They have a fantastic security team here.
“I’ve been saying anyway to a lot of people over the last few days, at the ties you think everything is fine, and the security, you [think you] don’t necessarily need it. But in situations like this, it’s great we have such capable people.
“Everyone, I think, is very comfortable in the team. It was a bit concerning a few days ago. I think once we got here and got into the hotel, came to the venue and saw what it was like here, that made everyone a lot more comfortable.”