Federer was terrible in both those matches though so hard to judge Novak's level. He was nothing like a good Federer on clay and Federer himself struggled with Mahut and Goffin. As I said, think Nole had a great year and it's a good follow up to 2011. Just had to be a bit less than what some fans may have expected given the trajectory up to Aus 2012.
As for clay I don't think his level in 2012 was even as good as his 2009 clay level to be honest. He had flashes of brilliance - was pretty good in a lot of the Rome final and from midway through RG final. But it wasn't a constant level - a lot more UFEs than last year. Think next year will be easier without the non-calendar slam pressure.
Yes...You're right, next year has to be easier.
I hope we get to see him playing his best tennis and being clutch as he can be.