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Pressure couldn't be more different for Andy Murray and Sam Querrey

LONDON -- Whatever Andy Murray does, whatever he has accomplished, he can't escape pressure. It's nothing new, of course, as the Briton carries the hopes of an entire nation.

Then there's American Sam Querrey. You'd think he'd feel a similar burden, considering his country hasn't produced a male Grand Slam winner for almost 14 years.

Andy Murray is three wins away from winning his third Wimbledon title. Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
It's a strange contrast, because in the same period, Murray has delivered everything that could have reasonably been asked of him by the most patriotic of sports fans -- and more. He's twice won Wimbledon and Olympic gold, delivered the Davis Cup and became world No. 1, with a US Open title to boot.

Murray described his first Wimbledon triumph in 2013 as a "relief," but that hasn't stopped news photographers from regularly following him, waiting to take a snap wherever they can.

"It's kind of comical to see all that is going on and reading it," said Brad Gilbert, an ESPN tennis analyst and former coach of Murray. "But Andy is really good at not worrying about that stuff. He knows what everybody is saying, but he's been there before and can focus on the sport."

The U.S.'s drought has gone on longer, and we regularly question the status of American men's tennis, but the constant feeling of pressure is nothing compared to what Murray, and even Johanna Konta, experience. The last American male singles triumph at the All England Club was 17 years ago, when Pete Sampras won, and no one has made it past the quarterfinals since Andy Roddick reached the final in 2009.

It's telling that the American whose name and face is advertised on billboards and posters around SW19 is a guy who retired 11 years ago, Andre Agassi. He recently became Novak Djokovic's coach.

Still the U.S.'s most accomplished player at Wimbledon the past two years doesn't let it weigh him down.

"I don't feel like the hopes of America are on my shoulders," Querrey, who also made the 2016 quarterfinals here, said earlier this week.

"It's an individual sport. I'm trying to win for me. My coach, my friends, small group around me, those are the people that I care about. Those are the people that, you know, are really behind me."

Gilbert believes world No. 28 Querrey, and his higher-ranked peers, John Isner and Jack Sock, feel unencumbered because "they are not at the same level" as major contenders such as Murray.

"The Big Four have wiped out quite a few generations," Gilbert said. "America has had great history, but we are not at that level right now. Hopefully, we will get there.

"We keep thinking Roger Federer should be from Los Angeles. He plays like an American, but he's Swiss and tennis is a global sport. We're fans and we root for Rafael Nadal and Fed, and watch these guys because we are so used to not being in the latter stages of tournaments.

"I'm sure a lot of Americans would love to see a Serena on the men's side, or another Agassi on the men's side in their lifetime."

But Gilbert isn't optimistic, going as far as predicting Murray would enjoy his matchup with Querrey if Murray is moving freely.

With Nadal out of the tournament, the expectations are even greater for Murray. But it's not like he hasn't aced that pressure many times before.

Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/tennis/story/_/id/19960648/wimbledon-pressure-gauge-more-different-andy-murray-sam-querrey

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