Bialik: Great question, Greg. My not-great answer: It depends, and who knows? I doubt even the players know. They talk sometimes about feeling no pressure to win when they're underdogs or in a position they've never been before. Probably different players react in different ways to that situation. Also it takes two to tango -- or to produce an upset. Whether Strycova knew it or not, Li surely knew that more than half the time over the past four years, she's been booted from Grand Slams by a player outside the top 50. Oh, and also, even if there were a weight on players' minds, it would be hard to tell. Maybe Strycova had lost 24 in a row against the top 10 simply because she wasn't good enough to beat them, and if she'd lost number 25, that could have said more about her game than her mind. It's hard to separate. Case in point: Berdych has now lost to lower-ranked players in four straight majors and seems further than ever from a Grand Slam breakthrough. Is he a head case or is his game regressing? The darkness and lack of Hawk-Eye was hard on both players, but Berdych seemed preoccupied with those external factors rather than the match.
Isaacson: Here is the one truth about all predictions: The more you believe it, the less likely that it will happen. Many media pundits were convinced Venus Williams would not give Petra Kvitova a fight in their third-round match. But it was as if Venus knew this and was that much more determined to make idiots of everyone, which she did with a high-level, three-set match. Venus did lose, but she came within two points of winning in straight sets. But it can definitely work the other way. Pam Shriver was convinced Victoria Azarenka, who was rusty after playing in just her fourth match since March, was thinking about her second-round loss last year. Why couldn't she just remember her two straight semifinal berths in 2011 and 2012? Why can't Maria Sharapova beat Serena Williams? These are the eternal questions.
Wilansky: Speaking of mind games, I'm wondering if Rafael Nadal is suffering from two years' worth of grass overdose. Actually, that's not possible since he played a combined three matches at Wimbledon in 2012 and 2013, but here he is on to the fourth round. It hasn't been easy for the 14-time Grand Slam champ. He's dropped the first set in his past three matches, which is disconcerting on a few levels. But what we've seen is Rafa the warrior more than Rafa the tennis player so far. I'm just not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing.
Garber: I think you are sure it's a good thing. Rafa had a rough transition from clay, losing his only match in Halle, Germany, and getting off to those bad starts in his first three matches here. But ... if it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger, right? All things considered, I would choose the path of least resistance taken by Andy Murray. He's averaging 100 minutes a match and won all nine of his sets -- seven of them were decided three games or more. Murray has been mediocre since season-ending back surgery, but very quietly (outside of the London tabloids), he's rounding into form.