Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 29 November 2014

The Punter: Andy Murray joins race for BBC Sports Personality of the Year gong

Deservingly, Andy Murray has made the Grand Slam breakthrough, creating history in the process with that dramatic and thrilling five-set win over Novak Djokovic in the US Open.

The 2/1 outsider became the first British winner of a Slam in 76 years and that surely will open the door for more to follow.

Much credit must go to coach Ivan Lendl who has provided the missing psychological ingredient for Murray who — like Lendl himself — lost his first four Grand Slam finals.

At only 25, the wind of success is now with the Scot who may well be number one in the world before the year is out. And that all brings him very much into the frame for the BBC's Sports Personality of The Year which after a tremendous summer of sport and Olympic and Paralympic success, has the best line-up in its history. That is seen in our own Rory McIlroy, the best golfer in the world.

The winner of his last three tournaments, including his second Major, and a potential Ryder Cup winner at the end of this month, being the only non-Olympic or Paralympic gold medallist in the top 10 and on offer at a massive 200/1.

In any ordinary year, Rory would be a hot favourite to win ‘SPOTY’.

Back in July Ladbrokes paid out on those who backed Bradley Wiggins after his Tour de France and Olympic double but now the cyclist, while still favourite, is 6/5 compared to 1/6.

Expect a flood of money for Murray at 5/2, the new second favourite ahead of double gold 10,000 and 5,000 metres winner Mo Farah (3/1).

The winner will come from one of the three, but which one is another matter.

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