How bad will Richie crumble if he is still in the running for Shanghai in Paris?
The weird thing is that this is a very likely scenario. Many of his competitors did not fare better. Blake, Haas, Moya, Berdych, and Ljubicic just lost the first set.
I was really confident that he would go past PHM easily. But after the first ralleys, it was obvious how tense he was, thus the passive play again. He did more in the second set, but still only occasionally and it was just not good and/or consistent enough. I wonder where the BH down the line was today and the second serve return was a pain, particularly on the BH side.
If one thing pleased me today, it was the clear sign that he was pissed off. That defeat hurt and it should. Time to regroup and start a new. It is still possible.