I recorded the match and am watching it right now... from what I've seen in the first set, he was pretty patient and didn't overhit or try to do too much (which seemed to be his tendency in recent years).
I caught a couple of games live in the third set and he was hitting a ton of short balls... could just be a matter of conditioning. One of the announcers noted Robby said he couldn't do anything for over a month after the appendectomy and that he lost about 30lbs. The match statistics were pretty even... about the same number of winners/errors, Robby's serve pecentage was in the 60's, minimal double faults.
Because of the the Olympics, he had a pretty light summer hardcourt season last year... he should be able to pick up some points this time around.
Your post sounded somewhat like the posts that idolwatcher1 used to do here. And I really miss that type of posting about Robby and, of course, I miss idolwatcher1
It doesn't sound like Robby had it very easy after that appendectomy
I believe it was posted here about a woman pro tennis player who had an appendectomy and was back playing on the Tour quickly. But, of course, everyone is different when it comes to recovering from any type of surgery. Some people heal fast while other don't heal well at all. May be Robby just needs to gain more strength back and get yet even more match play in.
I just don't know how or why a player drops back from #15 in the world to down so low in the Rankings so quickly
Of course, the obvious answer is he isn't playing well so I guess the more logical question should be why isn't he playing well now? Oh speaking of rankings I will have to check to see exactly where Robby is now--I'm almost afraid to look