Ferrer won 76 matches, seven titles
It was a somewhat different year on the ATP Tour. A year where a pretender went past the contenders on a couple of counts.
The top four -- Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal -- may have shared the four major titles among themselvesm but when it came to other records it was another Spaniard who ruled the roost.
David Ferrer, ranked No.5 on the list, had been on the sidelines for years. Despite performing consistently, the 30-year-old more often than not finished second best to the top four.
The year 2012, though, was a breakthrough year for Ferrer in more ways than one.
Not only did the Spaniard win a tour best of 76 matches, but he also ended up winning more titles (seven) than anyone else. Moreover, he also managed to win a first Masters Series title (in Paris) having lost his three previous finals.
Besides, Ferrer was also among the two players, Roger Federer being the other, to win titles on all three surfaces – clay (Acapulco, Buenos Aires and Bastad), grass ('s-Hertogenbosch) and hard (Auckland, Valencia and Paris) – in what was a stellar season.
Djokovic finished the year strong
It was always going to be difficult for Novak Djokovic to replicate the stunning success of the previous year.
He began well, retaining his Australian Open title, beating Rafael Nadal in what was the longest major final in history.
The Serb lost two other major finals – at the French Open and the US Open and missed out on an Olympic bronze (losing to Juan Martin del Potro).
However, he finished strong, winning back-to-back titles in Beijing and Shanghai before winning the ATP Tour World Championships in London, thereby ending as the No.1 player for a second straight year.
Federer won a seventh Wimbledon title
A record-equaling seventh Wimbledon title made it a memorable year for Roger Federer.
The Swiss, however, failed to win the elusive Olympics singles gold, losing to Andy Murray in London.
Federer also pocketed three Masters Series crowns – Indian Wells, Madrid and Cincinnati – besides also winning in Rotterdam and Dubai.
The Swiss ended the year with a 71-12 match record.
Nadal, Del Potro and Monaco won four titles apiece
Rafael Nadal expectedly dominated the clay circuit, winning at Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome before winning a record seventh French Open title in June.
The Spaniard didn't play in the second half of the year following a knee injury.
It was a comeback year for Juan Martin del Potro, the Argentine winning titles in Marseille, Estoril, Vienna and Basel while also picking the bronze medal at the London Olympics.
Another Argentine, Juan Monaco, also did well for himself.
The 28-year-old won clay court events in Vina del Mar (Chile), Houston and Hamburg while also winning on the indoor hard courts of Kuala Lumpur.
Murray made a double breakthrough
It was a breakthrough year for Andy Murray in more ways than one.
The Scot reached his first Wimbledon final, albeit losing to Roger Federer. He rebounded well, though, beating the Swiss on the same court to win the Olympic gold medal a fortnight later.
Murray carried forward his good form to beat Novak Djokovic in the final of the US Open, thereby becoming the first Briton to win a major in the Open Era. Besides, he had broken his Grand Slam drought.
The 25-year-old also won in Brisbane at the start of the year and finished the year with a 56-16 win/loss record.