Former World No.2 Zvonareva is a 12-time WTA titlist, including Indian Wells in 2009, and two-time Grand Slam runner-up. Fellow Russian Petrova, a former World No.3, has 13 WTA titles.
Other wildcard entrants include teenagers Donna Vekic and Belinda Bencic. Croatia's Vekic is most known for reaching a WTA final in her first WTA main draw at Tashkent in 2012 as a 16-year-old, making her the youngest WTA finalist in six years. And 16-year-old Swiss Bencic advanced to the second round of January's Australian Open in her Grand Slam debut.
The remaining wildcards went to Americans Coco Vandeweghe, Shelby Rogers, Victoria Duval and Taylor Townsend. Vandeweghe is a former Stanford finalist, Rogers is a four-time ITF Women's Circuit titlist, Duval scored a victory over Samantha Stosur in the first round of last year's US Open, and Townsend is a former junior World No.1.
"This year's main draw wildcards span from established veterans, to rising American and international stars," said Tournament Director Steve Simon. "Awarding wildcards to players like Nadia Petrova, Vera Zvonareva and others adds to the excitement for fans and provides the potential for these deserving athletes to make a run at the BNP Paribas Open."
Qualifying gets underway on Monday and the main draw on Wednesday. The tournament runs through March 16.