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.
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.
“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.