With the start of the 2014 season around the corner, the WTA's top players are facing tremendous pressure. For some, the pressure is self-imposed. For others, the pressure forms under the hefty weight of high expectations.
Every player feels some pressure to improve. But there are those who are under increased scrutiny based on their rank, poor play or celebrity.
Simona Halep, ranked No. 11, is coming off her best year. She won six WTA titles in 2013. Only Serena Williams won more. Halep was also voted the WTA's Most Improved Player. Of course, there will be pressure to break into the Top 10. However, Halep is under less pressure than No. 12 Sloane Stephens.
Stephens has yet to win her first WTA title. Still, she has been anointed the chosen one who will replace the Williams sisters as the next great American champion. Playing the role of prodigy is always a difficult burden to bare. That's why Stephens makes the list of women who are under the most pressure in 2014.