Can Muguruza succeed Serena Williams as women's tennis' queen?

At some point after the Wimbledon draw has been made on Friday the questions about the prospects of Garbine Muguruza are bound to start.

They will be secondary, as far as the women's game is concerned, to chatter about the future of Serena Williams at the top, of course, but the debate about who will be the American's successor as queen is gaining traction.

Muguruza is the player who heads the list of contenders and not just because she has earned the ranking of world No.2; the Spaniard has a whole lot more potential than many players who have been seen as pretender to the throne before her.

Indeed, 22-year-old Muguruza already has the game to dominate, according to several other top players who discussed the topic with ESPN at the Aegon International at Eastbourne this week. The questions about her centred on whether she is strong enough mentally to take the next step.

"When Garbine is on form, she plays really well. She can serve well and has flat, aggressive shots," said Petra Kvitova, the world No.11 and two-time Wimbledon champion.

"I don't know how she will fare mentally with the pressure. That is difficult. When you win your first Grand Slam, it's difficult to live with. You need time to get used to everything. I found it very tough: it took me six months, a year."

Sam Stosur, the world No.16 who was beaten by Muguruza in the French Open semifinals in a little over an hour, said: "I was quite impressed with the way she played against me, so I wasn't surprised that she was able to continue that form and win the title.

"You would be silly to say she wouldn't be one of the players up there in future years. She has a game that does very well and has been very consistent in the last 18 months or so. It'll be interesting to see how she continues now the pressure has changed."

Eugenie Bouchard, who has had her own struggles with pressure, has been impressed by the way Muguruza has handled herself on the court, and her record has showed promise without quite making her a dead certainty.

Muguruza reached the final at four events in the past year (2016 French Open, 2015 Wimbledon, 2015 China Open, 2015 Wuhan Open), having only made two in her four previous years as a pro. She also has a 10-4 win ratio against top-10 opponents since her last run at the All England Club.

Her grass court warm-up tournament didn't go so well -- she lost her opening match in the inaugural Mallorca Open -- but has already been practicing at Wimbledon this week and has sounded, generally, confident enough to rival Williams.

"I've never felt a situation where I don't see myself as a possible champion. Some people question that, but you have to believe that you can do it," Muguruza told the Independent even before her French Open breakthrough. "There was a time when mostly Serena was dominating but this has to change one day. Now is maybe the time."

Muguruza has said that clay is her favourite surface but her game looks ideally suited to the speed of grass. Agnieszka Radwanska, the world No.3, claimed it didn't matter which surface she was playing on.

"Muguruza is one of the best: solid, powerful and consistent; she can do everything on court and is a player who can play on every surface," Radwanska said.

"She is one of those players we are going to see more often in Grand Slam finals. She has huge potential to be No.1. The pressure is growing and it depends how she handles that, but she has everything to do it."

Another question Muguruza has brought on herself is: can she survive in the locker room? She has said she has no friends in there from the tour and that the women are not as friendly as the men, but there doesn't seem to have been much friction as a result.

Mixing competition and friendship is what Muguruza said she had trouble with and the issue now is whether standing alone will help or hinder her in the future, whether she is strong enough to be a lone wolf.

"I know her but not that much," Radwanska said. "We've practiced a couple of times and talked. I don't know why she said that. I have some really good friends on tour and it's about healthy relationships. You want to win on court, doesn't matter who it's against, but off it you're friends.

"We are doing this for 10 months a year, and for so many years, and it helps to have friends in the locker room. It's an individual thing if you want to go your own way and have your own space but it helps your performances to have friends because you feel better and can talk in the locker room."

The absence of the banned Maria Sharapova from the locker room and the courts may skew the picture slightly for some, but Muguruza was prospering before the Russian's doping punishment and rivals appear to be preparing for that to continue. How Williams reacts will be the key.