A whole week of tennis in Monte Carlo and plenty occasions to see and talk to Richard.
This report will cover Friday, 16 April, when Richard was already out of the tournament in singles and doubles.
It must have been a 6th sense which made me looking at the practice courts instead of watching Kohlschreiber's QF on centre court upon arrival: Richard practised with Gabriel: 1 hour groundies, followed by a basket BHs, a basket FHs, a basket serve, a basket "try to finish the point with a volley" and as if he was not tired enough a basket volley/smash/volley/ smash. He did well on the last one though, not missing a single smash.
Two and a half hours later he was back on the practise court again. After a brief warm-up he played a long set against Horacio Zeballos. Richard had huge troubles to get a grip on the opponents' leftie serve, either netting or hitting the return wide.The Argentinian broke to get 6-4 up, but in a game in which Richard finally hit a return winner, he could break back.
At 9-9 Richard finally could break Zeballos again, they stopped after this, he had been out on court for 90 minutes, making in 3 and 1/2 hours in total.