After fulfilling a couple of exhibition commitments in South America this week, Novak Djokovic is looking forward to a break from tennis. "For two and a half weeks", he said on Monday night, "I will be in a very tropical, very beautiful place with no racket, just trying to recharge my batteries".
Djokovic has earned his rest after rounding off a classic season of tennis with an equally stunning victory over Roger Federer in the final of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. It was hard to say which was more remarkable: Djokovic's indomitable spirit, or the fact that Federer could play that well and still lose in straight sets - 7-6, 7-5.
If there is a lesson for Andy Murray in what we saw on Monday, it is that he cannot afford to sit back after his maiden grand slam victory in New York. The work he does in Florida this winter with Ivan Lendl will need to be precise and rigorous, because Djokovic is tougher to break down than a quadratic equation.
At various times this year, Djokovic has been eclipsed by all three of his major rivals. Rafael Nadal romped through the clay season, Federer won Wimbledon, and Murray finally broke his grand slam duck. But the Serbian is the man who has kept coming back, week after week, and daring someone to take him on. In 17 events, he has failed to reached the semi-finals just twice, and both times there were extenuating circumstances. He was uncomfortable on the blue clay of Madrid, which he felt was dangerously slippery, and by the time he reached the Paris Masters most of the leading players were clearly husbanding their energies for London.
Even if he only took home the one grand slam title - the first of the year in Melbourne - Djokovic's sheer consistency has seen him open up a lead of 2,655 rankings points over Federer in second place, and very nearly 5,000 over Murray in third. To put that into perspective, you collect 2,000 for winning a grand slam.
After the excitement of Murray's shining summer - which extended from the start of Wimbledon to the US Open final - his friends and supporters were soon predicting that he would have the No?1 spot in his sights by the spring of 2013. Without Fred Perry's 76-year jinx to weigh him down, they said, the tennis world will be at his mercy.
Yet the past two months have reminded us that one breakthrough does not in itself lead to more. Murray has "played some decent tennis" - in his own words - through his last four tournaments of the season. But he has lacked the moments of finesse and fearlessness that can turn a steady campaign into a scintillating one. Moments when you land two balls on the line in the same rally, as Djokovic did to break Federer in the penultimate game of Monday's final.
Such an outlandish level of tennis cannot be maintained throughout a season, and in 2012 we saw each of the "Big Four" have his moments. But if Murray and Federer produced the romantic storylines of the season, Djokovic was Mr Bankable. He will sleep well on his sunbed next week.