Davis Cup final: GB team arrive in Belgium amid tight security

Davis Cup team
The GB team delayed travel to Belgium because of the security alert in the capital Brussels
Davis Cup final
Venue: Flanders Expo, Ghent Dates: 27-29 November
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Great Britain's Davis Cup team, including Andy Murray, have arrived in Belgium amid heightened security for this weekend's final against the Belgian side in Ghent.

The capital Brussels, 35 miles away, is in its third day of a security lockdown and on the highest level of alert over fears of a Paris-style attack.

Extra security measures have been put in place for the three-day final.

The GB team delayed travelling to Belgium because of the security alert.

Britain's squad of Murray, his brother Jamie, Kyle Edmund, Dominic Inglot and James Ward arrived on Monday after postponing their Sunday flight, and practised for the first time in the afternoon. They will have very tight security as they travel between the court and their hotel.

Belgian police arrested 16 people in anti-terror raids during Sunday's lockdown and a further five subsequently, but a suspected gunman from the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, remains at large.

Soldiers were patrolling Brussels' streets on Monday and many businesses and public services remained closed.

The sport's governing body, the International Tennis Federation, said it was "closely monitoring the situation in Belgium and specifically in Ghent", where the final will take place at the 13,000-seat Flanders Expo.

For security reasons, Thursday's draw will now take place at the Flanders Expo instead of a music venue in Ghent city centre.

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Gijs Kooken, chief executive of the Flemish Tennis Federation (FTF), which is staging the event, told BBC Sport he was in regular contact with the Belgian government and had "not yet had a signal that it's not safe to organise the event".

Having earlier flown in by private jet to nearby Flanders Airport, the GB team, who last won the event in 1936, practised for three hours on Monday afternoon at the venue.

Dan Evans has joined the squad as a hitting partner, and initial reports are that the team are pleased with the quality of the indoor clay court, BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller said.

The final, which runs from Friday to Sunday, is expected to attract more than 1,000 visiting British fans.

Spectators have been warned entry into the arena will take longer than usual and they will not be allowed to take in food or drink.

Sniffer dogs and explosive experts will be patrolling the venue, and spectators - who may be body searched - will have to leave all bags in lockers outside the entrance.

Great Britain reached their first Davis Cup final since 1978 with victory over Australia, while Belgium are competing in their first final in 111 years after beating Argentina.

Great Britain's Davis Cup team
Flanders Airport tweets about the arrival of Great Britain's Davis Cup team

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