Rafael Nadal heads to the Australian Open as the world No 1 and will hope to begin the 2018 campaign in fine fashion with a second title in Melbourne.
The 16-time Grand Slam champion created history in 2016 by winning 'La Decima' at Roland Garros and showcased his authority on the red dirt with prior victories in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid.
As a two-time Wimbledon champion, Nadal headed to London in great form and many people's favourite to succeed, but after breezing through the opening three rounds, Gilles Muller knocked him out in the fourth round.
Nadal, after suffering a surprise exit to 18-year-old Denis Shapovalov in Montreal, recovered to secure a third US Open title with a convincing victory over Kevin Anderson in the final.
The Spaniard then claimed his sixth title of the year with a resounding win over Nick Kyrgios in Beijing before losing to Roger Federer in the Shanghai final.