LONDON -- With the first week of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships completed and the last 16 for both the men's and women's brackets set, we asked our tennis experts to reflect on the best moments so far at the All England Club -- and what you should look for in Week 2.
Here's what our experts had to say:
Can anyone stop the Big Three in the men's draw?
Pam Shriver: Most likely no, but when the grass gets chewed up in the second week at Wimbledon, there's always the potential for some big servers to do some damage. With that in mind, I think you have to keep an eye out for Milos Raonic and Sam Querrey.
Peter Bodo: It's still hard to imagine anyone beating more than one of the Big Three in any one tournament, which does not bode well for a surprise champion. But four men have the firepower to take the racket out of anyone's hand and could emerge as kingmakers if not necessarily kings: Milos Raonic, 35-year-old Fernando Verdasco, Benoit Paire and Sam Querrey. The first three are in the same half of the draw as top seed Novak Djokovic. Raonic has the monster serve as well as loads of motivation, having been denied the chance (mostly by injuries) to return to the final (he lost the 2016 championship match to Andy Murray).
D'arcy Maine: Stop them from crossing the street or from making an order on Amazon or in a pickup basketball game? Maybe. Stop them during this tournament? No.
Simon Cambers: No. They just look too strong, and some of the bigger threats are already out. To win one of these titles, you might have to beat two of them -- even three. And that's not happening.
How far can Coco Gauff go?
Shriver: In this wild year of women's tennis? She could win the tournament. But I think Simona Halep just has too much experience and will be too consistent and get too many balls back during their match. As a result, Coco's great run will end on Monday.
Bodo: She's such a rare talent that anything, including winning the final, is possible -- but probably not likely. Recent No. 1 Simona Halep will be a significant hurdle due to her experience under pressure, her great wheels and those consistent groundstrokes. Should Gauff survive the No. 7 seed (she has played no seed nor anyone ranked higher than No. 44 Venus Williams, who is 39 years old), the only thing standing in the way of a semifinal berth would be another unseeded player. But potential semifinal opponent No. 3 seed Karolina Pliskova is playing great. It's easier to envision Gauff running out of adrenaline and succumbing to fatigue than winning the entire thing.
Maine: Like most people here, I'm officially all in on Coco mania, and I think she has the potential to do some serious damage in Week 2 (and of course throughout her career). While I think it's probably unlikely, I wouldn't be totally shocked if she made it to the final. But first she has to get past Simona Halep, and that could be very, very tricky.
Cambers: Hard to say. Halep might just be too consistent and too smart for her on Monday, but Gauff should be so proud of what she has done this year. There's so much more to come, too.
Other than Coco, which storyline are you excited for in Week 2?
Shriver: Seeing Serena Williams healthy for the first time in a long time, pain-free, and serving the way she did against Julia Goerges makes me believe she can contend to win her 24th Grand Slam title. I think she definitely has a chance to do that here.
Bodo: How amazing is the story of Ash Barty, especially against the backdrop of Coco mania? She was a burned out, disillusioned prodigy who left the game -- only to return and become the top player. She now stands a good chance of joining Serena Williams as the only two women to win the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back since Steffi Graf in 1996. Among the men, No. 17 seed Matteo Berrettini has been on fire for weeks (he's 11-1 on grass). He hasn't gotten any attention, but that will change when he meets Roger Federer on Monday.
Maine: I'm still loving the mixed doubles tournament. Besides "SerAndy" (the dream partnership between Serena Williams and Andy Murray), Venus Williams and Frances Tiafoe and Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jamie Murray are still alive. As evidenced by SerAndy's opener, that could make for some fun matches and potential sibling rivalries this week. (Honorable mention to Ashleigh Barty and her dominance, which I think will continue in both singles and doubles.)
Cambers: Can Serena Williams equal Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam titles? She looked much better against Julia Goerges, and I expect her to set up a quarterfinal against Ash Barty, which could be a classic.
What is the must-see match of Manic Monday?
Shriver: Simona Halep-Coco Gauff. And it's not just because of Gauff. Halep has been a compelling factor in the majors the past few years. She has played some of the most memorable matches in majors the past several years. Regardless of the outcome, and no matter who wins, we'll remember this Halep-Gauff match.
Bodo: The world will be watching Gauff's match with Halep, and for good reason: She's on a historic run, and her presence has galvanized the women's event. This will be Gauff's first clash with an elite player who is in her prime, as well as her seventh match including qualifying. Don't be surprised if fatigue plays a role.
Maine: It has to be Simona Halep-Coco Gauff. Gauff has such energy and momentum on her side -- not to mention the adoration of everyone here -- but Halep is obviously one of the best players in the world. This has the potential to be a great match and is one that everyone will be watching.
Cambers: Petra Kvitova vs. Johanna Konta. The Briton is playing her best tennis right now, but Kvitova, with the pressure off because of an arm injury, is playing loose, which makes her massively dangerous.
Who will be the men's and women's finalists? Who will win those finals?
Shriver: Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, with Nadal winning. For the women, it will be a rematch of the Miami Open final between Ashleigh Barty and Karolína Pliskova, with Barty winning again.
Bodo: In the women's draw, it will come down to top seed Ash Barty and No. 3 Karolina Pliskova. Serena Williams has the capacity to complete the most Herculean of tasks. But in a quiet way, Barty has evolved into a no-nonsense, ultra-efficient, smooth-running "W" machine. If they meet in the quarterfinals, Barty's ability to just get on with things without letting distractions unnerve or throw her off will be a great asset, and she will defeat Pliskova in three sets.
On the men's side, Djokovic's tour-best serve return will get a good workout against, potentially, two big servers. But he'll make it through to find the familiar face of Nadal -- his 2018 semifinal opponent -- across the net in the final. Why? Because Nadal is due, and he'll be well-seasoned after some challenging encounters with quality grass-court players. Nadal will beat the defending champion in five sets.
Maine: Novak Djokovic vs. Roger Federer and Ashleigh Barty vs. the winner of the Halep-Gauff match. Federer will take home his ninth (!) Wimbledon title, and the Barty Party will continue with her second straight Grand Slam victory (*bonus:* She and Victoria Azarenka will win the doubles title).
Cambers: In the women's draw, it will be Barty vs. Pliskova, with Barty to win. In the men's, I'll go with Djokovic vs. Nadal, but I've changed my mind, with Nadal victorious.