100 memories: From Team Tennis to Davis Cup

Editor's note: The tennis season now over, it's time to look back. Beginning Dec. 10, Ravi Ubha is unveiling his top 100 memories of the 2012 season. Check back each weekday until Dec. 21 as we count down to No. 1.

100. Kastles perfect again in World Team Tennis

The Washington Kastles of World Team Tennis are making a habit of going undefeated.

A year after posting an unblemished 16-0 record, the Kastles, led by Venus Williams and Leander Paes, strung together another 16-match winning streak. Williams saved four match points against Martina Hingis in July and downed Sacramento's Coco Vandeweghe in September's final to clinch the title.

"We're actually like a family -- one crazy family," Paes told The Washington Post. "We all come together through the season on the tour and follow each other."

99. A painful ending for Bogomolov

It had to be one of the most dramatic retirements of the season.

Facing a match point and serving at 4-5 in the fifth set against Frenchman Arnaud Clement at the French Open, Alex Bogomolov Jr. succumbed to leg cramps. He hung around the baseline for several seconds, hoping the cramps would dissipate, but they never did. Bogomolov, who held a match point in the fourth set, took a slow walk toward the chair umpire and the nearly 4.5-hour encounter was over.

"My whole leg was straight," Bogomolov said. "I couldn't bend it."

Clement, admirably, gestured to the ever passionate Parisian fans to stop booing as Bogomolov called it quits. It marked the final victory in the 16-year career of the former Australian Open finalist.

98. Vika averts danger at Roland Garros

Clay may not be Victoria Azarenka's favorite surface, but she was expected to coast past her 105th-ranked opponent, Alberta Brianti, in the first round of the French Open. Instead, only a capitulation by the Italian prevented one of the biggest upsets in tournament -- or even Grand Slam -- history.

Brianti led by a set and 4-0 - and held break points for 5-0.

Azarenka eventually prevailed, though, 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-2.

"Bad days happen," Azarenka said. "Today I had way more mistakes than I usually do. But I still won."

Her stay at Roland Garros didn't last much longer. She was ousted in the fourth round.

97. Ljubicic's Twitter spat

Ivan Ljubicic could, one day, lead the ATP. He earned praise in his role as head of the player council and was even a member of the tour's board of directors.

But the recently retired Croatian incurred the wrath of U.S. men's pros when he posted this tweet during the clay-court season: "Wonder how our tour would look if European players were skipping American tourneys the way Americans are skipping European tournaments."

Mardy Fish, Andy Roddick, John Isner, Sam Querrey and Ryan Harrison all took exception, with Fish tweeting: "Some of us aren't skipping tournaments bc we want to do ur homework before u make dumb generalized comments."

Indeed, how did Ljubicic feel when he learned why Fish skipped the European clay-court swing?

96. Serena the motherly figure

Serena Williams, in defeat, isn't always the most gracious, although she appears to be getting better.

However, there was no faulting Williams for her behavior in Charleston when Sabine Lisicki had to retire due to (another) ankle injury. Lisicki began crying as she approached the net, with Williams doing her best to comfort the German.

She could be heard saying, "You're going to make me cry," and put her arm around Lisicki; the concern was genuine.

"I felt bad," Williams said. "I was like, 'It's going to be OK. Don't worry: This is not the French Open.'"

95. An ace barrage in Vienna

In the days when courts were faster, a high ace count from both players and a lack of breaks weren't unusual indoors. In that sense, it was a blast from the past when Juan Martin del Potro faced Daniel Brands in the second round in Vienna this fall.

For the first time since the ATP began keeping such records, two players hit at least 30 aces in a best-of-three-sets match. Del Potro won 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6) in 3:06.

But the chances to break were there: del Potro went 0-for-10 and Brands was 0-for-5.

94. Turkish delight

Agnieszka Radwanska and Sara Errani are anomalies in the women's game, two players devoid of power. Their first serves won't worry opponents, and their second serves are begging to be struck by the returner.

But they're refreshing due to the variety they possess and the ability to think during points (as opposed to simply hitting). They were a joy to watch in battling for 3.5 hours at the year-end championships.

The ever-resilient Radwanska, following her long outing against Maria Sharapova, was the one who emerged triumphant. Both players hit more winners than unforced errors, and Radwanska's tally of 53 winners might be a career high.

She moved on to the semifinals, losing to Serena.

93. Doubles marathons at the Olympics

The doubles competition at the Olympics at Wimbledon was almost as riveting as the singles. A pair of U.S. siblings, the Williams sisters and Bryan brothers, claimed gold in the women's and men's events.

Matches in earlier rounds proved to be eventful, too. Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares beat Czechs Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek 1-6, 6-4, 24-22 in the longest known three-set doubles clash (in time) in Olympic history (4:21).

In the semifinals, Frenchmen Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga saved four match points to oust Spaniards David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 4-6, 18-16. At one stage, Ferrer flung his racket to the turf in utter disgust; when it was over, Llodra and Tsonga rolled around the grass like kids playfully wrestling.

92. More Davis Cup turmoil for Argentina

Will Argentina ever win the Davis Cup?

There the Argentines were, hosting the Czech Republic on clay in the semifinals. With del Potro and Juan Monaco in their ranks, they were justifiably considered the favorites. And with Spain hosting the U.S. in the other semifinal, Argentina welcoming a Spain without Rafael Nadal looked likely in the final in what would have been a repeat of the 2011 ending (though that was in Spain).

Heading into Sunday trailing 2-1, Argentina's chances shrunk considerably when del Potro didn't play because of a wrist injury; his replacement, Carlos Berlocq, was no match for Tomas Berdych.

Del Potro, who reportedly clashed with countryman David Nalbandian in the 2008 final, drew criticism for pulling out and soon reports surfaced that he didn't interact with his teammates and essentially felt forced to play on the opening day.

It was the slice of luck the Czechs needed in the competition.

91. Bartoli ends Azarenka's winning streak

Marion Bartoli is one of the last players you'd want to face when you're tired. Taking balls on the rise, she takes away time from her opponents and frequently gets them moving. Her practice swings are exhausting just to look at.

Azarenka was riding a 26-match winning streak but nearly running on empty when she met the Frenchwoman in the quarterfinals in Miami. A round earlier, Azarenka barely survived against Dominika Cibulkova.

Azarenka didn't escape this time, falling 6-3, 6-3. The streak was done.

"I couldn't keep going all the way," Azarenka said. "To play these tournaments back-to-back is really difficult physically."