Yeah, I'm curious for Insouciant to expand on his/her thoughts. I've watched the performances too and don't think you can tell much either way from them. He played at his absolute best ("2.0") in his match vs. Ferrer in Abu Dhabi. His next match vs. Almagro wasn't as great, but Almagro was at his absolute best, and Novak still won. Then the latest match vs. Seppi was just kind of whatever - not all-out dominating but perfectly fine. I noticed that he's trying to play forehands and backhands down the line more, which is an improvement over his disuse of them in 2012.
It's also hard at this stage to disentangle diminished-effort exho play from what his "real" level is. The idea that he's going to have another 2011 is probably a pipe dream anyway, but I'm not sure if his recent play gives us clues either way, really.
Didn't mean to sound negative, he played solid. But his game was just too up and down, he played brilliantly against Ferrer (some amazing BHDTLs, his best weapon) and then against Almagro he was not as sharp. And that's the problem, he can play amazingly one day but you can't trust that in important matches he'll be as sharp as he can be. I was very nervous last year watching him play as he could very easily have concentration lapses. Against Seppi again not as sharp but fair enough that was understandable because he must've been jet lagged...Against Tomic and in doubles though, he was just a disaster. But I'm glad he got out his one very bad day out of the way now, when it doesn't count (plus he didn't seem to try very hard)
And I guess the exhos won't give a great picture because he'll probably give his all in slams but just as an idea I would guess that his slam results won't be as good as 2011. But like I said I hope I'm wrong