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Ten reasons why Andy Murray deserves to win SPOTY 2013

Andy Murray lifts The Championship trophy.
by Mark Hodgkinson
Friday 13 December 2013

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray is one of the 10 in the running to be crowned BBC Sports Personality of the year 2013. Wimbledon.com thinks he should win. Do you?

- There were so many astonishing results at this year's Championships - among others, Rafa Nadal lost in the first round, and Roger Federer departed in the second - that some American commentators started calling the tournament 'Wimble-gedddon', as if it were a grass-court disaster movie. But nothing was as spectacular or as memorable as the way the fortnight ended, with Andy Murray becoming the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title for 77 years. There is no one else on the short list whose achievements were anything like as historic. 

- Victory for Murray in what is essentially a popularity contest would formally signal that any difficulties he once had with the British public are over (last year he was placed third, as a reward for winning the Olympics and his first Grand Slam at the US Open).  

- Of course, there are still a few who froth and rage about Murray on the internet, but there's no pleasing everyone. And just imagine how the sight of Murray winning the trophy would disturb their equilibrium even further. That's reason enough to vote for the Wimbledon champion.   

- Murray's decision not to travel to Leeds for Sunday's awards show - so that he can stay put in Miami and continue with his off-season training camp - ought to be rewarded. It's that kind of dedication to self-improvement that enabled Murray to win Wimbledon, and this December there is even greater importance on his close-season training after his back operation. Still, if Murray doesn't win January's Australian Open, viewers shouldn't start grumbling that the Scot should have been in Yorkshire after all. With the first Grand Slam of the year coming so early into the year, Murray is unlikely to be in his absolute prime. And, anyway, the off-season training is for the full year, not just for one tournament. 

- After last year's mix-up with Lennox Lewis, who doesn't want to see what happens on the live link from Miami this December? 

- During his own playing career, Ivan Lendl never won Wimbledon, and he never won over the British tennis public. For a man still defined in Britain by his failure to win Wimbledon, Murray's triumph at the All England Club this July was the next best thing to holding up the trophy himself. This weekend, Lendl could experience, through Murray, what it's like to be popular in the towns and the shires. A vote for Murray is also a vote for Lendl. 

- Because the other three members of the Big Four have never won a Grand Slam when competing under such extreme pressure, and never will do (Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Federer don't have a major in their home countries). Do the other three in that quartet ever get mouth ulcers before a tournament, as Murray does each summer in the days leading up to The Championships? 

- This year, or any other, has a British athlete ever dealt with as much stress as Murray did when serving out his straight-sets victory over Djokovic?  

- Because a tennis player hasn't won this prize since 1997, the year that Greg Rusedski finished as the runner-up at the US Open. And if you can't win after a year in which you became Wimbledon champion, then when can you? 

- Because any result but a victory for Murray would seriously undermine the credibility of this television show. 

Watch the BBC's profile on Murray. 

BBC Sports Personality 2013 kicks off at 7.40pm on Sunday night on BBC1. Don't miss it. 

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20:08It brings me no pleasure but it's time to bring the curtain down for another year. Seemed somehow appropriate to leave the last word to Roger Federer. Thanks a billion for reading. What a fortnight, what a final, fast forward to 2015 please...

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