Baseline Buzz: Split sentiments on the futures of Rafa, Serena

With Monte Carlo and Charleston behind us, we have learned a lot about the current state of the game.

And that state is one of confusion. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic fell early and the struggling Rafael Nadal won a significant title, while the women's tour presented some unlikely success stories (hello, Sloane Stephens).

Granted, the meat of the clay season is approaching, with Madrid commencing on May 2 and Rome a week later. But for now, here are the hot-button issues we attempt to tackle in another edition of Baseline Buzz.

1. Rafael Nadal will win his 10th French Open title this season.

Greg Garber, ESPN.com: True. For a couple years now, I've been touting Novak Djokovic to win his first French Open -- only to see him (and me) disappointed. I know Rafa has one more French in him, but as he nears the daunting age of 30, this is his last shot.

Melissa Isaacson, ESPN.com: False. Can't go there just yet. Yes, Nadal is returning to form in a way most would not have predicted, but since his 2014 French title (his last major), consider that Djokovic has won five majors and 10 tournament titles. For the first time in a long time, there's real hope of that rivalry reviving, but Djokovic has won 10 of their past 11 head-to-heads, and if they meet in the French, I still like Djokovic.

Peter Bodo, ESPN.com: False. I don't believe Rafa has another French Open title in him, mainly because of the same factors that enabled him to be such a great champion there. Although he still has a great game for clay, I don't see the same degree of intensity or even hunger. He used to live to struggle, now he struggles to live.

Pam Shriver, ESPN analyst: False, but I do think he will win a 10th Roland Garros at some point. But I am still not sold he's recovered enough from his loss of confidence to win it all this year.

2. Victoria Azarenka will continue where she left off in Indian Wells and Miami.

Garber: False. If that means winning the French, I say no. The way the season has gone down -- with Azarenka dominant, Serena Williams vulnerable and Angelique Kerber viable -- it just feels like the French will go to a surprise winner. Can you say Anastasia Myskina?

Isaacson: True. Love Azarenka's game when it's on, which it sure seems to be for the first time with any consistency since 2013. Surging back into the top five after those two titles, she remains superb on the return, is always aggressive and has a killer instinct that could be the best in the game.

Bodo: True. Azarenka has always been a better clay-court player than she gets credit for. She also seems to have gone through a difficult time in various ways and now seems utterly refocused. Among likely entrants, only Serena Williams is in the same league with Vika as fierce mental warriors. It's a two-woman race.

Shriver: False. If continuing where she left off strictly means winning titles, then no, because clay is not her best surface, and it's impossible to win every week. But I do think she has a good a chance as anyone to be the next player with a No. 1 ranking by her name.

3. Novak Djokovic will continue to look human.

Garber: True, but to a point. Hard to imagine him continuing his Masters dominance through 2016. (He won six titles a year ago.) Last year, he destroyed Rafa in the French quarters. Maybe it's payback time.

Isaacson: False. Though if human is making four finals this year in six tournaments, it ain't so bad. Granted, he has been in the news more this year for his comments on cheating, doping and equal pay than for his tennis. And he did lose in the second round at Monte Carlo. But it was only his second loss in 30 matches this year -- his other coming via an injury retirement in Dubai. So merely human? Not so fast.

Bodo: True, for now. This spring for Djokovic will be all about the French Open. Everything he does will be geared toward winning that title, so don't be surprised -- or alarmed -- if he drops a match or two along the way. In the back of his mind, all of this will be prep for Paris, and if he wins there, nothing that happened in the preceding month will matter.

Shriver: True. Clay and the French Open have been his Achilles' heel. He has a lot more of a mental battle than he does on other surfaces as he prepares for the red clay and the two-week grind in Paris.

4. Serena Williams will turn her game around.

Garber: False. She may well win one of the run-ups to Roland Garros. Just not sure she has the nerve(s) to bring home the trophy again in Paris.

Isaacson: True. She has not won a tournament since last August in Cincinnati, and she lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the fourth round of the Miami Open late last month, which snapped Serena's 20-match winning streak there. But when she left, she was clearly angry, and an angry Serena is generally a dangerous one.

Bodo: False. I don't know if she can turn her game around, but I know she can't turn her age (34) around, and that may be a problem. People tend to forget that the older you are when you lose that edge, the more precipitously you're likely to drop. But then Serena has made a living shattering the conventional wisdom, so who knows?

Shriver: False. Her serving problems and serving inconsistency will continue. She hasn't entered the clay-court season without having a title in hand since 2012. She has a lot of confidence-building to do before she feels comfortable again, especially in later rounds.

5. Gael Monfils will be a legitimate threat through the French Open.

Garber: True. I remember my first glimpse of Le Monf on the grounds of Roland Garros when he was a junior. He was mesmerizing; still is. A threat, yes. He might go deep and upset some players, but I can't see him winning the thing.

Isaacson: True. A threat? Always, particularly in his homeland. Consistent? Not always. But after making the quarters in Melbourne, Indian Wells and Miami, and the finals in Rotterdam and Monte Carlo, he is a legit threat at Roland Garros.

Bodo: False. Given what a great athlete he is, Monfils seems to have a serious fitness -- or perhaps just a lack of stamina -- problem. The guy looks gassed halfway through three-set matches. Sure, some of that is for dramatic effect, but his anti-Ironman persona will prevent him for winning a best-of-five tournament on clay.

Shiver: False. The French players always have an added burden, especially at Roland Garros. I still don't trust Monfils as a seven-match, two-week, grind-it-out competitor.