Realistically, the situation with Andy is that despite all his protestations and practising on the stuff, clay court tennis is just not for him.
Sad that he lost so badly and that he's no longer number 2, but perhaps he has now attained his final level of competence, together with a subconscious realisation that he will never reach number 1.
I agree clay court is always going to be his weakest surface, but if he's that bad on it how do you account for his relative success two years ago when he did rather well even though carrying an injury?
Today was a disappointment -more for the manner in which he lost than for the loss itself against someone at his best on clay and who has already played 12 clay matches this season. The comms were saying at the end it seemed like he couldn't wait to get off the court. There was certainly no fire or fight there it felt like. He said afterwards he wasn't feeling the ball - I guess it's difficult to play well, if that's the case. I thought he analysed what went wrong pretty lucidly in his presser though not surprisingly either couldn't explain why or didn't want to. Miles Maclagan was pretty philosophical about the defeat and said it might give Andy the kick up the butt he needs to get his clay game right before the big one. Andy said pretty much the same himself and that he needs to learn from it and work hard before Madrid. Personally I think it would have been better to take a wc for Barca to try to increase his match play on clay - if he went out early, he could go back to training; but if he did well, it would rebuild his confidence on clay and give him more match play. But I'm sure Mr L know what he is doing better than I do
Oh and it's a relief to see that most of the posts are pretty philosophical and written in sorrow rather than anger!