It was perhaps fitting that Novak Djokovic should come out on top at the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
The world number one may have achieved fewer title wins in 2012 than he did over the previous calendar year, but it was always going to be a near impossibility to repeat his extraordinary 2011 season anyway.
Instead, his aim was to prove that last year was no fluke, and that he was at the top of the men’s game for good.
A consistency which saw him win the opening grand slam event of the year – with a gruelling win after six-hours against Rafa Nadal – and then go on to compete in two further grand slam finals as well as reaching the last four at Wimbledon and the Olympics confirmed his status as the best male tennis player in the world right now.
Of the other members of a top four which has consisted of the same quartet for a fifth consecutive season, each have played their part in a terrific year of tennis.
Rafa Nadal was firmly on the way to challenging Djokovic’s dominance before injury struck before the year was even half completed.
Nadal’s absence from more than four months of competition was to Andy Murray’s benefit, with the Brit finishing the season ranked in third place.
Murray has made giant strides of his own this season and in any other year, a first Wimbledon final, followed by an Olympic gold and a maiden Grand Slam title would have been enough to make him the stand-out performer on the tour.
But such has been the standard from all of the top players, Murray is merely one three – along with Djokovic and Federer – who have achieved big things during 2012.
Arguably, the finest individual achievement was not Murray’s victory in the US Open, but Roger Federer’s win at Wimbledon that saw him replace Djokovic as world number one.
To still be capable of adding major titles at such a late stage in his career – and with such fierce competition from such a talented trio of rivals – is testament to the Swiss, and further strengthens claims that he is the greatest player in tennis history.
Successive quarter-final defeats at Wimbledon in 2010 and 2011 looked to be proof that Federer had past the point were he was still able to match the likes of Nadal or Djokovic and compete for the sport’s biggest prizes.
But to the credit of Federer, he refused to accept the fact that there are players around that he is incapable of winning against, and a new desire and determination has been very much evident over the last year or so.
Whether that continues will much depend on his physical ability, especially in longer five-set matches at grand slam events.
As for the other questions for next season, will Andy Murray continue to build on his major successes of the summer, and even pose a challenge for the number one ranking?
And can any of the challengers below the top four provide a greater threat to the favourites?
What is certain is that if next season brings anywhere near as much drama as this year has, we’ll be in for another treat.