As someone who's always liked Novak, but definitely had some trouble with his rapid rise last year at the expense of my favourite player, I'm intrigued by what his fans have made of his year. Is the overall feeling "a slam and likely no.1 ranking is a fabulous year" or "after 2011 it should have been better"?
This time last year most of the predictions were for Novak to win at least 3 of the 4 slams in 2012, rapidly rise towards the double digits in slams, win both Olympics and RG and perhaps even the CYGS. This was the assessment of many posters based on "who can beat him? Nadal can't. Federer can't. And Murray can't even win a slam." In some ways it seemed right given how unbeatable it had seemed. But suddenly a year on he doesn't look as unbeatable. Still one of the top players but now not necessarily higher than the other 4 in terms of his level - on their day any of them can beat each other - the little gap Novak had built seems to have closed.
Last year for Nadal was good objectively - world no.2, slam & equal Borg's record. But coming after 2010 it seemed terrible (partly due to how the press portrayed it) and also because all the main losses were to Novak and in finals. Novak has had a similar year to Nadal last year - made 3 slam finals, only won 1. But he lost to different people and also lost his Masters finals (3 lost - MC, Rome, Cincy - as compared to the 4 Nadal lost) to 2 different players. Because Murray, Nadal and Federer all beat him the year somehow hasn't had that feeling of being clouded by loss.
My question is - how do his fans feel? I personally think this is a great year for Novak - he won a slam after all. But probably an opportunity missed with the non-CYGS chance, RG career slam chance, and golden slam chance. Were you expecting more from this year and has the "fightback" from the other 3 surprised you?