Davis Cup final to be played in Ghent on clay
LONDON (AP) The Davis Cup final between Belgium and Britain will be played in Ghent on clay, Andy Murray's least favorite surface.
The final of the sport's premier team competition will take place on Nov. 27-29 at the Flanders Expo on an indoor clay court, the International Tennis Federation announced Wednesday. The multi-use arena will be set up for a capacity crowd of 13,000.
Murray won all three points as Britain beat Australia 3-2 in last weekend's semifinal in Glasgow to reach its first Davis Cup final in 37 years. Belgium defeated Argentina 3-2 in Brussels to set up the first Davis Cup final between the two nations since 1904.
As host nation, Belgium had the choice of venue and surface.
Belgium chose clay in order to slow down Murray, whose best results have come on faster surfaces. Murray won the U.S. Open in 2012 and Wimbledon in 2013.
Murray tweeted Wednesday: ''So Ghent on the Clay for the davis cup final...very pumped! Think clay is a good surface for us looking forward to it.''
The Davis Cup final comes the week after the ATP World Tour Finals in London, the season-ending tournament for the top eight players.
On Sunday, Murray suggested he would consider skipping the London championship - which is played on a fast indoor surface - in order to prepare on clay if Belgium chose the surface for the final.
But ATP president Chris Kermode warned Murray that the London tournament is a ''mandatory event'' and he is expected to play.
''All players who qualify, unless injured, are required to compete in the event,'' he said. ''Andy Murray has had a fantastic season and earned his place among the world's top eight players to compete at the season finale. We are aware of the comments made after the Davis Cup tie in Glasgow, however our expectations are that, if fully fit, Andy would compete in this year's tournament.
''Unless we hear otherwise via an official withdrawal, he is still entered to compete.''
The third-ranked Murray has not played competitively on clay since losing to Novak Djokovic in the French Open semifinals in June. While clay has not been his one of preferred surfaces, Murray did win clay tournaments last spring in Munich and Madrid.
The Belgian team features 15th-ranked David Goffin and No. 59 Steve Darcis.
Murray could also play in doubles again with brother Jamie. James Ward, Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans are also contenders for the British team.
Britain last won the Davis Cup in 1936. Belgium has never won the title.