By Lisa-Marie Burrows
Roger Federer (6 titles)
Roger Federer has enjoyed a very fruitful 2012 and has proven that like a fine wine, he has continued to get better with age. In February, the Swiss maestro collected his first title on the indoor hard courts of Rotterdam before acquiring further titles on the hard courts of Dubai and the Masters 1000 tournament in Indian Wells.
During the clay court season, Federer collected his fourth title of the year and proved to be the conqueror of blue clay after winning the Masters 1000 tournament in Madrid. Since the tournament organizers have announced earlier in the year that they shall not be using blue clay in 2013, Federer will probably remain the only player to ever win on the blue clay courts of the tournament too!
In June, Federer returned to his beloved grass courts of Wimbledon where in an emotional final against home crowd favourite, Andy Murray, Federer lifted the trophy for an impressive seventh time during his career.
After his Grand Slam success, Federer went on to win another Masters 1000 tournament in Cincinnati and proved his great versatility after winning titles from all corners of the globe on each different type of surface.
David Ferrer (5 titles)
Spaniard David Ferrer takes the second position in the ranking of titleholders for 2012 so far. The 30-year-old Spaniard has enjoyed his most successful year in terms of winning titles this year to date. Ferrer opened up his 2012 campaign with victory on the hard courts of Auckland where he won his first title of the year, followed by a thriving South American swing collecting titles in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Acapulco, Mexico.
During the clay court season, Ferrer won another clay court title, but this time in Europe in Bastad, before moving onto the grass courts where he won the title at s-Hertogenbosch for the second time during his career. Like Federer, Ferrer has won a title on each different surface.
Rafael Nadal (4 titles)
The 26-year-old Spaniard has been missing from the ATP tennis circuit since June after his early exit at Wimbledon and has been battling with a knee injury for some time. The Spanish No.1 has been putting his knee through the paces thanks to an array of recuperation procedures, but has not yet confirmed when he will return back on court.
The opening of the 2012 season for the world No.4 began well and despite his long spell of absence, he has still won four titles this year, all on the clay courts of Europe. His first title victory was at the Monte-Carlo Masters 1000 tournament where he lifted the trophy for a record-breaking eight consecutive years after defeating Novak Djokovic in the final. The Spaniard did not drop a set during the entire week en route to victory.
His impressive clay court title collection continued after he lifted the trophies in Barcelona and Rome before he stamped his authority once again at the French Open Grand Slam after he was crowned champion for the seventh time at Roland Garros.
Juan Mónaco (4 titles)
Argentine, Juan Mónaco is enjoying his best career year to date. The 28-year-old player has broken into the top 10 in the rankings for the first time in his career and has won four titles this year across the globe.
His first title came on the clay courts of Viña del Mar, Chile, the first clay court tournament of the ATP World Tour season, where he defeated compatriot Carlos Berlocq in three sets on the first stop of the Latin America Golden Swing.
Mónaco continued to find further success on the clay courts of Houston in the United States, where he defeated home crowd favourite, John Isner, before adding a European clay court title to his collection in Hamburg, Germany. Once again, the Argentine No.2 was forced to defeat another national hopeful after beating German Tommy Haas to lift the trophy.
As the Tour moved across to Asia, Juan Mónaco enjoyed another ‘first’ during his impressive 2012. After breaking into the top 10 for the first time in his career after his victory in Hamburg, he also won his first hard court title on the indoor courts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Novak Djokovic (4 titles)
The current world No.2 has won four titles so far this year, with his biggest victory at the Australian Open in January, where he was successful in winning the Slam for a third time Down Under.
His good season continued on the hard courts Stateside after winning the Masters 1000 tournament in Miami in March and looked set to dominate the Tour once again this year after his remarkable 2011 season.
The Serbian No.1 went on to win another Masters 1000 title on the hard courts of Toronto not long after his hard fought battles at the London Olympics and found further success last week in Beijing closing the gap on Roger Federer for the year-end No.1 position in the rankings.
With few tournaments left to play this year, it will be interesting to see if the titleholders mentioned above can add further victories to their list as the season draws to a close or if another player will break into the top 5 list for this year.