My toughest critic is me not the Press, says Murray
Andy Murray has been the favourite to win Wimbledon ever since Novak Djokovic's departure from the tournament, but as the world No 2 prepares to face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in today's quarter-finals he says the greatest pressure comes from within himself.
"I deal with my own expectations," Murray said. "I expect to play my best tennis at these events and put a large amount of pressure on myself to do so.
"Some people think that the expectation mainly comes from the Press, but I don't read what the Press say.
"I'm not that interested in what the Press say. It's what my team feels and how I feel. I'm putting a lot of expectation on myself at this event, like I do at all of the Grand Slams, and I play my most consistent tennis at all of the Slams doing that. I've had more ups and down in my career outside of the Slams, but at them, when I've put the most expectation and pressure on myself, I've played better."
The statistics support Murray's case. The Scot has reached the quarter-finals at 20 of the last 21 Grand Slam tournaments he has played and is through to his ninth successive Wimbledon quarter-final. However, he has lost eight of his 10 Grand Slam finals and has lost four semi-finals and two quarter-finals here.
Since Djokovic's defeat, nevertheless, the bookmakers have seen Murray as the clear favourite, though the Scot said their view was "completely irrelevant".
He said: "Since I've been playing Wimbledon the last 10 years, I'd say in seven or eight of those years the expectation has been extremely high and the pressure's been unbelievably high. That's exactly the same this year."
When Murray won Wimbledon three years ago he said that Ivan Lendl, his coach, had become more agitated as the tournament progressed because he could see that the Scot was playing well enough to win the title.
How is Lendl doing this time around? "It's totally different because I've won Wimbledon, so the pressure isn't the same," Murray said.
"At the time it had been such a long wait that everyone saw that as being my chance to win Wimbledon - and I've done that now. I want to do it again but you can't compare the pressure to when I played Novak in the final three years ago."
Murray has won 12 of his 14 meetings with Tsonga. Although the Frenchman's big serve and confident volleys are important weapons on grass, Murray has won all four of their meetings on the surface - twice at Queen's Club and twice here.