The first major title of the season in 2012 went to Novak Djokovic, and the last substantial one went to him as well. En route to winning both titles, the Australian Open and the ATP World Tour Finals, he beat Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Another year belonging to Novak Djokovic, still the best tennis player in the world.
Whoever wins Wimbledon will always grab a piece of the spotlight, maybe most of it, no matter what else happened between January and November. Roger Federer won at Wimbledon, beating Djokovic during his mid-season slump and later Andy Murray in the final, and made it his year in terms of hype. But Djokovic was as consistent as he was in 2011, just without the finishing touch. Being nearly flawless for 11 months is impossible in Tennis. Djokovic was very close to it once more.
After all, he did win one Major, making it five in his career, beating Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open. He reached two more Grand Slam finals – once in France, losing to Nadal on clay, a recurring theme this season unlike the previous year, and then in Queens, as Andy Murray was simply too much for the first time against anyone in a Grand Slam Final. So, three finals, one title, and one more semifinal in Wimbledon. Not a bad year at all.
And lets not forget the Masters. Djokovic won in Miami, Toronto and Shanghai, before winning the year’s end tournament in London, which in terms of points and prestige, is a bit more than a Masters tournament and a bit below a Grand Slam. It was the second time he has won the World Tour finals, the previous one being in 2008, when the tournament was held in China.
Djokovic keeps the number one spot for the second time in a row because of his consistency and for a comeback ability that no one on tour currently has. Roger Federer broke him early in both sets, but Djokovic is too resilient too mentally strong to let these things get in the way of his game.
He simply didn’t go for any short hits. Only for winners, blasting away. It gave him the win against Federer in the 2011 US Open, managing to save a few match points before simply hitting balls with everything he had, half lucky they simply fell in the right place. It wasn’t that different in the second set on Monday night, with Federer about to win the second set and send the match into a deciding third.
Djokovic’s elite athleticism came to play, and the best defensive game on the tour saved the day. It wasn’t so much great thinking and tactical shot making. It was just power shot after power shot to try and save the day. Once again, for the third time this season (3-2 in 2012 against Federer) it was too much for Roger Federer, with only one point (96-95) separating the two in a fantastic match of tennis that was a suitable ending to the 2012 season, with Novak Djokovic still on top.