I think that this year is only going to get better for Richie. He fought hard during the match with Gonzo - even if you deny it. He did well in Brisbane & Sydney too. I expect to see him climb back up the rankings this year, considering he doesn't have many points to defend in the second half of the year.
The problem is that at this rate,he'll have to face top players in every first rounds of the upcoming tournaments(apart the very small ones) and frankly,do you see him beat guys like Federer,Nadal or Murray at his current level??? Not me anyway.
And i certainly don't want this year to be a year where we'll be satisfied with "good" first round losses again one of the top 4 players.