Belgium to host Davis Cup final in Ghent
Belgium will host Great Britain in November`s Davis Cup final in Ghent, the International Tennis Federation said on Wednesday.
The November 27-29 final will be played indoors at the Flanders Expo in Ghent on a claycourt, with 13,000 spectators to be accommodated.
"So Ghent on the Clay for the davis cup final...very pumped!" British number one Andy Murray wrote on Twitter. "Think clay is a good surface for us looking forward to it."
The city, the third-largest in Belgium, has previously hosted major events such as a Tour de France stage in 2007 and the gymnastics world championships in 2001 and 2013.
Its football club are also the current Belgian champions.
Belgium reached the Davis Cup final for only the second time -- the other was way back in 1904 -- after a tense 3-2 win over Argentina last weekend, with world number 64 Steve Darcis claiming the crucial fifth rubber, beating Federico Delbonis 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6.
Nine-time winners Britain, who will be led by world number three Murray, last played in the final in 1978, losing 4-1 to the United States, and were last triumphant in 1936, defeating Australia 3-2.
The choice of a claycourt is crucial as Murray had said he may skip the ATP Tour Finals on a hard court at the O2 Arena in London, the week before the Davis Cup final, in order to prepare for the transition to clay.
"For me to play -- if I was to reach the (ATP Tour) final -- five in a row and then take a couple of days off, it would mean only playing for two days on the clay before the Davis Cup final starts and that wouldn`t be enough for me," the 28-year-old Scot said.
But the ATP responded by saying he is "required" to play in the eight-man season finale.
Britain beat Australia 3-2 in their semi-final in Glasgow last weekend, with Murray starring as he won both his singles rubbers and teamed up with brother Jamie to claim victory in the doubles as well.
In the 1904 title match, Belgium were whitewashed 5-0 by the then-holders Britain in London.