Wimbledon 2013: Roger Federer and Stars With the Most Pressure to Produce

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IJune 24, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24:  Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a backhand in his gentlemen's singles first round match against Victor Hanescu of Romania on day one of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 24, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

They say that pressure comes with the territory, and there's no tennis battleground more pressure-packed than the All England Club at Wimbledon.

Despite sharing the record for most men's titles of all time at Wimbledon, Roger Federer once again enters SW19 with mighty expectations. But the tennis legend isn't the only superstar who will have to overcome immense pressure at Wimbledon this year.

With the 2013 Championships underway, here we'll highlight a trio of stars under the most pressure to produce this summer. 


Roger Federer

Because he enters the All England Club as a seven-time winner this summer, defending men's champion Roger Federer is under the microscope and immense pressure to make another deep run.

The 31-year-old Swiss surprisingly has just one singles title to his name this year, and that came a week ago at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany. Sure, Fed's 26-7 singles record coming in is certainly nothing to dismiss, but it could be argued as lackluster by Federer standards.

The good news for Federer and his fans, though, is that he's back on the slick grass at Wimbledon, where his superior shot-making gives him an undeniable edge. And he's already off to a strong start, having won his first-round match in straight sets, via Wimbledon:

With an eighth career Wimbledon crown cementing Federer as the greatest men's champion the All England Club has ever seen, the pressure on him in 2013 cannot be overstated. 


Andy Murray

No player on the planet is under more pressure to succeed year in, year out at Wimbledon than Andy Murray.

The 26-year-old Scotsman represents Great Britain's best shot at claiming the prestigious Grand Slam title. And not since Fred Perry in 1936 have the British been able to celebrate a homegrown men's champion.

Each year since he first appeared at Wimbledon in 2005, Murray has improved on the London grass. He reached the third round as an 18-year-old eight years ago, then the fourth round a year later before breaking through to the quarterfinals in 2008.

After three straight semifinal berths from 2009 to 2011, Murray finally reached the men's final in 2012, taking the opening frame against Roger Federer only to lose in four sets. 

This year, after winning Olympic gold on Centre Court at the 2012 Summer Games and claiming his first Grand Slam at the U.S. Open last September, Murray seemingly has his best shot ever to end Great Britain's drought and relieve the mountain of pressure on his shoulders. 


Maria Sharapova

It's hard to believe that it's been almost a decade since Maria Sharapova won her first career Grand Slam title as a 17-year-old at Wimbledon.

It was only nine years ago, but it has to feel like a lifetime for the Russian superstar, who has been incredibly inconsistent at the All England Club since reaching tennis' pinnacle in 2004. 

Although she reached the women's final here two years ago, Sharapova has lost twice in the second round and three times in the Round of 16 within the last six years. It's been a mediocre run for the world No. 3, to say the least.

The fact that Sharapova hasn't beaten current world No. 1 and defending Wimbledon champion Serena Williams since she was a teenager only adds to the pressure she faces this summer.

Therefore, if Sharapova can survive the first six rounds to reach the women's final for the third time in her career this July, she'll have to not only overcome Williams' superior strength and power but also the psychological barrier that stands in her way.


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