After that great final between Andy Murray and Roger Federer, I've come across a couple of pieces seeming to assume that if you're a Brit you should have been supporting Murray. Maybe that works for many people, even for most; but I can't think of a single reason for making it universal and obligatory. OK, given my mixed allegiances, I would think this. I support Australia in cricket (an account of why I do can be found here), Wales in rugby union, and England - at least most of the time - in football. And in individual sports, nationality doesn't come into it for me, at all. I just look at the contestants and decide on the basis of something or other whom I'll be supporting.
David Edmonds says, rightly, that partisanship adds to the enjoyment of the contest, but he doesn't really offer any reason for making nationality the proper criterion of allegiance. Likewise Michael Deacon, who laments the fact that there were British viewers supporting Federer, doesn't spell out what he takes to be wrong with this. It's a kind of gut-Tebbitism, no more. But these are games, and allegiance here is more or less arbitrary. A person can choose to make their national identity the basis of whom to support, but they don't have to. Here's a clue why: we all have more than one kind of identity and, apart from that, more than one way of deciding on our preferences. Who's to say that one principle should govern all others in this domain? No one, that's who.