-- These days, professional tennis moves at the speed of light.
Since that historically soggy fortnight in Paris concluded less than two weeks ago, there's been a ton of news:
? Barring a successful appeal, Maria Sharapova -- who broke through with her first Wimbledon title a dozen years ago at the age of 17 -- will miss the next seven majors because of a drug ban.
? Rafael Nadal, a two-time Wimbledon champion, said he is sitting this one out to focus on rehabbing his painful left wrist.
Storylines will be in abundance when play begins at the All England Club on June 27. Melissa Isaacson, Peter Bodo and Greg Garber weigh in on some of the top topics:
What's Novak Djokovic's biggest concern as he goes for his fifth straight major title?
Isaacson: The Andy Murray-Ivan Lendl re-combo might make it tougher on Djokovic. But the Serb has dropped just 11 sets in the past four majors, and now that he has won his first French Open, we imagine he will gain even more momentum as he sets his sights on the countdown to Roger Federer's all-time record of 17 Slams.
Bodo: Oddly, his major concern has to be a guy who never won Wimbledon: Lendl. What might he bring to Murray's game, and mentality, that might enable Murray to re-create the success the two men enjoyed previously? If nothing else, rekindling the relationship with Lendl has instilled new, justifiable hope in Murray. And with the backstory, he's well set up to challenge Djokovic should both men make it to the final.
Garber: The tendency to look ahead and get overly excited. The French Open was a grind for all concerned, but Djokovic had a particularly taxing journey through the draw. Rain impacted most of his matches -- at one point, he was on court for four straight days -- and then there was his looming personal history. Djokovic won the title to quiet his doubts and complete the career Grand Slam. Five straight Grand Slam singles titles? This will be (relatively) easy if he can stay in the moment.
What will we see differently in Andy Murray now that he's back with Ivan Lendl?
Isaacson: Lendl is a calming influence. He also gave Murray the confidence to win his only two Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal. There will be a built-in boost with that alone. But this assumption that Lendl will somehow help Murray solve Djokovic when the latter is on a roll of all rolls is a little presumptuous.
Bodo: The major difference I believe will be twofold: a more aggressive game, with Murray taking more chances and relying less on his ultimate passive-aggressive instincts, and a refreshed attitude. Murray knows he can't bully or vent his displeasure at Lendl the way he's traditionally done at his other team members and coaches. Out of respect for his coach, he will focus better and show more self-control -- all of which will help his game.
Garber: The same thing we saw the last time this happened. Lendl finally got Murray, a perfectionist, to loosen up, trust himself and aim for the lines. It worked beautifully for a few years, and Murray claimed his only two majors with Lendl in the coaching box. Should be interesting with 1996 champion Richard Krajicek working with Stan Wawrinka for the first time at SW19.
How will the grass courts help Serena Williams, who hasn't won a major since Wimbledon last season?
Isaacson: More than the grass will be the self-generated kick in the pants she gave herself after losing to Garbine Muguruza in the French Open final. Williams was so upset after the loss that she left her rackets in France and posted a video showing her practicing by herself. We're all pretty familiar with that Serena, and though grass always helps the great servers, her attitude is more important.
Bodo: Serena's serve just isn't what it once was. Some of that is certainly due to choice. She's been trying to mix it up more -- and do more spot-serving. That enabled opponents to put more serves back into play, and this more erratic version of Serena has gotten in trouble because of it. The grass will allow her to shift the balance back toward herself. On a good serving day on grass, with her greater variety and nuance, she could be simply devastating.
Garber: I'm not sure the grass itself will do anything for Serena. Unlike sister Venus, who won the majority (five of seven) of her majors on the slick stuff at Wimbledon, Serena has distributed her Grand Slam titles more evenly, six each at Melbourne, New York and Wimbledon. Losing the past three majors at the semifinal and final stages is a bad trend -- especially for a 34-year-old.
If not Serena Williams, who do you expect to run the table at Wimbledon?
Isaacson: Petra Kvitova always comes to mind because we've seen her on a tear at Wimbledon. Angelique Kerber has a few good finishes in the past several years. But hard not to imagine Muguruza riding the momentum of the French title and last year's Wimbledon runner-up finish and running to another title.
Bodo: Muguruza has everything it takes to dominate at Wimbledon, including the experience thanks to her breakout at the tournament last year. However, we can't overlook Kvitova, whose game is long with those wicked slices and whose service hooks come easily off the southpaw's arm. She's shown twice already that she's an entirely different player at Wimbledon.
Garber: Two candidates: The consistently inconsistent Kvitova, who by the awkward rhythms of her career seems due for a third title at Wimbledon. And, of course, the freshly minted French Open champion, Muguruza. Her learning curve has accelerated to the point that in some minds she is the favorite. She lost a close two-set final to Serena at Wimbledon a year ago. Seems logical that she might go back-to-back.