(November 26, 2015) In 2013 Andy Murray won Wimbledon to end a 77-year drought for British men at the All England Club. The Scot hopes to help collect the Davis Cup title for Great Britain for the first time since 1936 this weekend against Belgium in Ghent this weekend. In 1936, Fred Perry won the decisive singles rubber to give Great Britain the victory over Australia 3-2.
Belgium was a losing finalist to Great Britain in 1904.
The best-of-five match series final between the two countries begins on Friday in the Flanders Expo on clay, with a pair of singles matches which pits players who have never faced each other in head-to-head competition. Top Belgium player, David Goffin ranked 14th in the world will play Kyle Edmund, ranked No. 100. The 20-year-old Edmund, who was born in South Africa, will be making his Davis Cup debut.
The second match on Friday will feature world No. 2 and British No. 1 Andy Murray against No. 108 Ruben Bemelmans. Bemelmans received the nod over No. 84 Steve Darcis to play the second rubber. Belgium’s Captain Johan van Herck has the option of changing players over the weekend.
Murray is not only seeking his first Davis Cup title, but he is trying to become only the third player to win all eight singles matches in a Davis Cup year since the World Group began in 1981.
Due to the Paris attacks and threats in Brussels, security in Ghent has been intensified.
The International Tennis Federation put out a security statement earlier in the week:
Update for those attending the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final at Flanders Expo
The ITF and Royal Belgian Tennis Federation (RBTF), in consultation with the relevant officials and our risk assessment and security advisers, are closely monitoring the situation in Belgium and specifically in Ghent. As of today there are no changes to the previously published start times for the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final between Belgium and Great Britain.
We are taking every necessary step to ensure the safety of the teams, the spectators, the media and all working staff.
As you would expect, a number of specific, additional security measures have been put in place for this weekend’s tie.
In particular please note:
- This is a sold out event. There will not be any tickets on sale at the venue and anyone without a ticket will not be allowed access to the venue area.
- Additional security measures will be in place at all entrances to the venue and will apply to all ticket holders, staff members and visitors.
- Entry into the event will take longer than usual. Please keep this in mind when planning your arrival to the Flanders Expo. The gates will open two hours in advance of each day’s start time.
- Bags and backpacks will not be permitted in the Flanders Expo. Ticket holders will be asked to check any bags into available off-site storage facilities.
- No food or drink will be allowed into the arena. A full selection of refreshments will be available in venue.
- For those travelling into Belgium for the tie we advise that you liaise directly with your flight or train operator for up to date information on any changes to departure times or protocols.
Any additional updates on the tie including any changes to entry procedures for fans with tickets will be made via:
RBTF website: www.tennisvlaanderen.be/davis-cup-security
The ITF president Dave Haggerty said that they want to make sure the Davis Cup players, fans and staff are safe.
For Great Britain, this will be their 18th final as they look to win their 10th Davis Cup title. They lost their last final in 1972 against the United States. Belgium has never won Davis Cup, losing to Great Britain in their only final in 1904 5-0 at Wimbledon.
This is the 12th meeting between Belgium and Great Britain, but only their second since 1963. Britain leads 7-4. Belgium won their last meeting 4-1 in Europe/Africa Zone Group I in Glasgow in 2012, with 3 members of the Belgium team nominated for this year’s Final – Ruben Bemelmans, Steve Darcis and David Goffin – all winning rubbers. Great Britain has not beaten Belgium since 1963, when it won 5-0 on clay in Brussels.
DAVIS CUP FINAL LINE-UP
BELGIUM v GREAT BRITAIN
Venue: Flanders Expo, Ghent (clay – indoors)
David Goffin (BEL) v Kyle Edmund (GBR)
Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) v Andy Murray (GBR)
Kimmer Coppejans/Steve Darcis (BEL) v Andy Murray/Jamie Murray (GBR)
David Goffin (BEL) v Andy Murray (GBR)
Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) v Kyle Edmund (GBR)