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Venus Williams' racy attire stirs fireworks

Editor's note: It seems every year is a good one for tennis fans. With so many stars and so many matches, you're left with indelible memories aplenty. Beginning Dec. 13, Ravi Ubha is unveiling the top 100 moments of the 2010 season. Check back each weekday until Dec. 24 as we count down to No. 1.

40. A change will do you good

Men's players have long asked for it, and they got it in November -- a longer offseason.

Starting in 2012, the ATP extends the interval to seven weeks, similar to the women's tour.

Is it a perfect solution? No. For one, there's no week off between the Paris Masters and World Tour Finals, which is bound to cause headaches.

39. Clash of the titans

Maria Sharapova burst onto the scene by upsetting Serena Williams as a 17-year-old in the 2004 Wimbledon final.

Their ensuing Wimbledon encounter occurred last summer, and it was worth the six-year wait.

Matching grunts, Williams won an outstanding first set, saving three set points, and eventually prevailed 7-6 (9), 6-4.

The difference was the serve. Williams hit 19 aces.

38. Low point for Nole

Novak Djokovic disappointed at the first three Grand Slams of 2010.

His toughest loss probably came at the French Open, when the Serb inexplicably blew a two-set and break lead in the quarterfinals against Jurgen Melzer.

Djokovic, though, was gracious after appearing to get a horrible call in the final game.

37. Nobody beats him 16 straight times

Lleyton Hewitt, slowed by hip surgeries, is nearing the end of his career. If the fiery Aussie does call it quits soon, at least he got the monkey off his back.

Hewitt ended a 15-match losing streak against Roger Federer, rallying to beat the Swiss in the Halle, Germany, final.

"It's fantastic," said Hewitt.

36. Alejandro, Alejandro

Hard to believe, but Federer almost lost two straight on grass.

Colombian lefty Alejandro Falla came out swinging at Wimbledon, particularly impressing on returns. Falla, then ranked 60th, led a stunned Federer by two sets.

Falla, on the verge of pulling off one of the biggest ever tennis upsets, cracked as he tried to serve it out in the fourth.

"I just doubted myself a little bit in that moment," Falla said.

He hasn't recovered. Falla lost eight straight to end 2010, with his ranking falling to 105th.

35. Beat down in Oz

Having won the 2009 U.S. Open and a warm-up in Brisbane, Australia, Kim Clijsters was one of the two favorites at the Australian Open.

So much for that.

Clijsters was humiliated in one of the defeats of the season, exiting 6-0, 6-1 to periodic giant-slayer Nadia Petrova in the third round.

"I made all the mistakes," Clijsters said.

The Belgian was right, though Petrova was ticked she wasn't given more credit.

34. Dressing up for the occasion

Months after donning a skimpy outfit at the Australian Open, Venus Williams, the tour's resident fashionista, made headlines for wearing a dress in Paris that gave the illusion of being see-through.

A few fans didn't approve, but Williams offered no regrets.

"My dress for the Australian Open has been one of my best designs ever," she said.

33. Team Fed gets an addition

In a relative slump, Federer knew he needed to change things up after Wimbledon.

So he turned to Paul Annacone, who did a fine job working with two of Federer's buddies, Pete Sampras and Tim Henman.

Under Annacone, Federer became more aggressive, and the 16-time Grand Slam champ went 21-2 in his final 23 matches.

32. No guts

If it's not one thing with Djokovic, it's another.

Djokovic was given a nice draw to the semifinals at the Australian Open, and he duly led Jo-Wilfried Tsonga two sets to one in the quarterfinals.

Cue the drama.

Djokovic, who said he had diarrhea beforehand, left the court to vomit. Tsonga comfortably won the remaining two sets 6-3, 6-1.

"Bad luck for him and good luck for me," Tsonga quipped.

Tsonga's luck ran out. Federer demolished the Frenchman in a 1-hour, 28-minute semifinal.

31. Early marker

One of the first tournaments of the year produced one of the finest matches.

In the first event of her comeback, Justine Henin progressed to the final in Brisbane, losing a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (6) classic to Clijsters, her fellow Belgian. Henin trailed 4-1 in the second set.

"I can't be disappointed," Henin said.

Henin's good form continued in Melbourne.