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Andy Murray insists GB stars feel at ease amid security fears ahead of Davis Cup final

By Eleanor Crooks

Great Britain have put worries over security to one side as they prepare for the Davis Cup final - but Andy Murray understands the anxiety among some fans.

The British team had been due to fly to Brussels on Sunday before travelling on to Ghent, where the tie will be held starting on Friday at the 13,000-capacity Flanders Expo.

But the security situation in the Belgian capital, which was put on the highest level of terror alert at the weekend, meant they delayed their journey by a day and chartered a private jet to Flanders Airport.

With transport and schools shut in Brussels and some sporting events cancelled, there seemed a real danger the final - Britain's first since 1978 - would not go ahead.

But that now seems unlikely, leaving more than 1,000 fans set to travel from Britain to decide whether they are prepared to make the journey.

Murray said: "I think we just listened to the right people. They have a fantastic security team.

"Everyone is very comfortable in the team. It was a bit concerning a few days ago. I think once we got into the hotel, came to the venue and saw what it was like, that made everyone a lot more comfortable.

"It's not for me to give people advice on security. But it's a different situation in Brussels than it is here. I know a lot of fans were staying there and planning on travelling. 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. I hope as many fans can travel over as possible to give us the best support.

"I understand if people make another decision because of what's been happening."

Captain Leon Smith named a five-man squad last week, which he must reduce by one ahead of the draw tomorrow.

He had hoped to make an early decision on his second singles player between James Ward and Kyle Edmund but the change in their travel plans means he is still yet to make up his mind.

But Britain's hopes rest largely on the shoulders of Murray.

He is looking to become only the third player ever after John McEnroe and Mats Wilander to win all eight singles rubbers in a year and is also virtually certain to team up with brother Jamie for the doubles rubber.

Like with Murray's triumphs at the US Open and Wimbledon, should he help Britain to victory he would be ending a drought going back to 1936 and the days of Fred Perry.

The Scot said: "To win the biggest team competition in tennis, having beaten the other three Grand Slam nations, I think it would be a huge victory.

"It would be well deserved, as well. It's taken a lot of time and hard work from the players, staff, coaches, physios, everyone."

Murray, meanwhile, shrugged off accusations from former Davis Cup captain David Lloyd that he does not do enough to promote tennis in Britain.

The World No.2 said: "It was a shame. But it's not been the first time. It's a bit like background music: you know it's there but you're not really listening."

Belfast Telegraph


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