GHENT: Andy Murray said Tuesday he had no qualms about playing the Davis Cup final in Belgium despite the security alert, but added that he would understand if any British fans decided to cancel their trips.
The world number two, and the rest of the British team, arrived in Ghent, 55 kilometres (35 miles) from Brussels on Monday a day later than planned after the Belgium capital was put on maximum security alert in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Paris that killed 130 people.
The lockdown was still in place on Tuesday as the hunt for suspected terrorists continued, but Murray said the feeling was very different in Ghent.
“It was obviously a bit concerning a few days ago,” he said.
“I think once we got here and got into the hotel, came to the venue and saw what it was like here, I think that made everyone a lot more comfortable.
“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.
“I hope as many fans can travel over as possible to give us the best support. Obviously understand if people make another decision because of what s been happening in Brussels.”
Murray s older brother Jamie, who is expected to join him for what could be a crucial doubles rubber on Saturday said that not playing in Ghent because of the security situation had never been an option for him.
“I was always planning on coming and playing. Always planning to come. Obviously things had happened that made it a bit more concerning. But, you know, we re here. We re training. Business as normal. Yeah, ready to play on Friday.”
Security has been tightened at the 13,000 capacity Flanders Expo which will host the final from Friday to Sunday including a ban on bags and backpacks, as well as any food and drink, inside the arena. Sniffer dogs will also be used at the stadium to search for any explosives.
Belgian team captain Johan Van Herck said that his team were fully satisfied with the precautions and ready to play in the country s first Davis Cup final in 111 years.
“I think we as a team have a lot of confidence in the organization,” he said.
“I know when they had to put the work in for the security, there s no reason and we have no doubts that we will be safe here.
“But, yeah, it s there. The difficulties are there. We try to focus on the sporting side. We cannot do anything about security.
“We have to see if we can get ready as a team. So we try to focus on the job and we will be ready on Friday.”
Britain are aiming for their 10th Davis Cup victory, but first since 1936, while Belgium have never won the trophy and only reached the final in 1904.