I'm hoping some of the veterans here will know the answer to this: What was it like for Sampras in his heyday around the time of RG/Wimbledon. Did he always go into Wimbledon as the overwhelming favorite regardless of how he performed at RG and Queens? Didn't he win Queens only once in his career?
I'm ignoring the press right now but I have a strong feeling the suggestion is or will be that Roger is vulnerable and someone else will win Wimbledon this year. I'm just wondering if Sampras had to deal with that shit too?
Sampras was never quite as big of a favorite, but it was close. By the time the 2nd week rolled around, everyone knew that he was going to win no matter what.
Here's the funny thing about Federer taking a lot of heat right about now: Sampras gave up on clay and the French Open after his last run and nobody ever said anything. It was EXPECTED that a great grass player would not do well most of the time on clay. Federer has changed all of that. They expect him to win every single match and win it beautifully. Losses at Queen's and RG had no effect on Sampras at all or expectations of Sampras. He was still considered the best on grass and expected to win it.
Nadal will carry a lot of confidence into Wimby, but all it takes is a set and half for all of that confidence to dissipate.