The 2012 Davis Cup tennis competition has narrowed down to Spain and the Czech Republic, and clutch play in November should decide who sprays champagne and who cries in their beer.
Heroes and goats come with the territory in the Davis Cup—its international element, five-set format, rowdy fans and acute pressure leaving players exposed like no other tennis event can.
Davis Cup may lack the star power it had during the days of Bill Tilden and the Four Musketeers, when it was the best players' highest priority, but it's lost nothing in terms of nationalistic fervor.
The growing list of first-time winners in recent years also means that players outside the United States, Britain, France and Australia are getting a taste of glory.
Read on for my ranking of the top all-time great one-year performances in the history of this global team competition.