As Wimbledon gets into its second week and the palpable tension mounts day by day, I have been observing the players and the relationship that they develop with their fans.
The other day I couldn't but help thinking what it might have been like for Vasek Pospisil, the 25-year old from Vancouver who overcame Britain's James Ward, 28, and a passionate crowd. As you could feel the well of support at every shot that was swept towards the Brit, the Saturday match at one of the show courts at Wimbledon, was an extremely close finish which was won by Pospisil in a five-set thriller (6-4,3-6,2-6,6-3,8-6).
What I wondered did Pospisil think: did he have any Canadian supporters in the packed grandstands? And what about Ward? Everyone, just everyone in the audience, seemed as though they wanted him to win. How does someone like Pospisal deal with the crowds? With the returns or serves he misses when it appears that, for that brief moment, very few are on his side.
Afterwards Pospisil admitted that he tried to put the crowd - and the noise - and the moment, out of his mind and just focused on hitting the right shots. "I just blocked out all those little things," he said.
Helping tennis players to focus on the game, the opponent and the ball, and put the crowds aside, must be one of the most difficult tasks to achieve. Sport psychologists are known to be of valuable support when it comes to this.
However, Britain's Andy Murray has gone a step further, and admitted recently that he has engaged the services of a psychiatrist to help him with his game.
This is a particularly brave admission and this step must be applauded.
"It's more about understanding myself better and I think the better you understand yourself it does help you before big matches," Murray said.
"You have to be open and honest about the thoughts and the feelings that you have. If you lie about things to make yourself look stronger and tougher, it's pointless."
The fact that Murray has found time in his busy schedule to see a psychiatrist is a really good thing. Does he lie on a Freudian-type couch, I wonder, or sit straight up in a chair and talk to his sports psychiatrist face to face. The theory has always been that if you are lying down, your thoughts and imaginings are able to wander into the unconscious and the therapist is able to work more effectively with the client. However, lying on a stranger's couch is not everybody's idea of relaxation and dreams.
But Murray says spending time with a psychiatrist has helped him see things differently and reflect on all his ups and downs.
And certainly I imagine that one of the things that comes up regularly is his relationship with the crowds - his fans - and possibly how not to let them down.Suggest a correction