With the 2012 season now over, it's time for Patrick Mouratoglou to look back over the past 12 months and look ahead to what the next year of men's tennis holds.
On Novak Djokovic's year
It's difficult to say that Djokovic has had a bad year, even if it hasn't been as good as 2011. He showed less certainty and authority in 2012 than in 2011, even though you'd expect differently from a world number one.
He was still fairly consistent and he won a Grand Slam and the World Tour finals. Yet I felt that he was often fragile and weak. Despite his bigger victories, he could not replicate the confidence he exuded in 2011; he won in London without a sense of complete serenity.
Djokovic is relatively close to his best level but at the same time, you have to ask what he's missing if he is to rediscover his glorious form of last year.
2013 is going to be crucial for his rest of his career. If he rediscovers that previous form, he could be a beast. If not, it could be problematic.
On the Djokovic- Federer final at the ATP World Tour finals in London
What struck me was the role emotions played in the final between Djokovic and Roger Federer, which wasn't even a Grand Slam. I found the two finalists were often affected by their emotions during the match.
Djokovic looked tense and lost his opening game of the match. And Federer, who had quickly taken advantage, let the Serb come back into the contest.
Given the level of play, it should have been the Swiss who took the first set. He did not. And in the second, he let the Serb get his nose in front after making two big errors.
There was a clear discrepancy between what theoretically should have happened and how the final actually played out.
On Andy Murray's chances of being a future world number one
Andy is a contender. He reached a major landmark this year with victories at the Olympics and the US Open - his first Grand Slam.
Nadal and Federer still have several years at the top left in them and apart from them there are two other players who can stop Murray from becoming world number one in 2013: Djokovic and Juan Martin Del Potro.
Murray is among the ageing generation of Nadal and Federer, the new generation and the future. But I doubt he'll get to number one in the coming year, or for the next couple of seasons.
The ATP World Tour finals showed his current limitations. I just don't have the same feeling about Murray that I did with Nadal or Federer when they began to ramp it up. Murray still has several demons to banish first.
On what we can expect from Federer in 2013
We can expect the same thing as in 2012. In terms of his level of play, he isn't far off his best form. All he's missing is the confidence he had when he was at the absolute top of his game. That has been lacking at times this year.
His court coverage is also a little bit less explosive than before but he compensates for that in other departments: he's comes to the net more often, for example.
He was not far from finishing this year at number one spot, so it could have been worse. Although, undeniably, Nadal's absence played into his hands.
On Del Potro's hopes next year
Del Potro is back to his best. Or at least he is very close. But the competition is fierce and that is an important factor in a player's career.
At the moment, with the top four - even the top eight - that we have, to win a Grand Slam will be a remarkable achievement. In a different context, he could win the big tournaments.
But it's difficult to be certain of anything with the current situation. I think he's just a little bit off the best players. He still needs a bit of time to get to the top. He must improve with every tournament he plays. He isn't far, but he is still behind in some facets of his game.
On Nadal's efforts to return to the top
This is a big unknown. He has not played for such a long time, so who knows what state he will return in?
He's been out for so long, I think the experience will now allow him to return quicker (than Del Potro, for example).
As soon as the clay season starts, he will be a threat. We know that's his favourite surface. It also corresponds with the part of the season when he peaks in terms of form. I can imagine him winning Roland Garros again. His game is based on his physique. We know he relies on that. Once that is working, we know how dangerous he can be. He just needs to get back to that level of fitness...
- Sports & Recreation
- Novak Djokovic
- Roger Federer