Oh dear oh dear oh dear!!! I knew that the entry list for Madrid would go against him. Had Federer, Roddick, Hewitt etc been here then a title for Agassi / Fat David / Marat would have been somewhat unexpected. The 67 point lead over his next challenger would have been pretty much sufficient to take him to Houston. But oh no! He has to do it the hard way and put us through hell!!! Now he is likely to drop to 7th in the Race (now the last qualifying place, after Gaudio drops out of the top 8) and will hold a slender lead over the next challenger (likely to be the loser of the Agassi/Safin match. Tim won't lose his Houston berth until Paris but nevertheless...is anyone else feeling a little doubtful he'll make it?
I have my doubts as to whether he'll play Basel but he only needs 34 points to pretty much secure a place at Houston and 38 points to definitely make it. That is equivalent to a final at Basel. If he doesn't play / loses early then Paris is pivotal and how many times has he lost his chance there?!!! With Agassi, Safin and Nalbandian fighting for his place he has so much left to do. Being defending champion at Paris will add to the pressure and unless he makes significant ground in Basel, i sense an early departure in Paris and possibly his Houston hopes dashed.
It wil be gutting if he doesn't make it. He has such a great year thanks to great preformances in 7 tournaments and it would be a shame if he loses his place to a nemesis, an old man or an enigma.