Pam Shriver, a  22-time major doubles champion, is in the midst of a rare homecourt run.

After traveling to Melbourne for ESPN commentary, she’s been back at home in southern California, enjoying the local commute. Last week, she was in San Diego, coaching Donna Vekic into the quarterfinals. Vekic lost to eventual champion Katie Boulter. This week, Shriver makes the two-and-a-half-hour drive to Indian Wells and will do it all over again at the BNP Paribas Open.

Ahead of main-draw action that begins Wednesday, Shriver found some time to assess the chances of some of the key players.

Iga Swiatek: After she swept the Sunshine Double in 2022, last year was a step back for the World No.1 in Indian Wells and Miami. Swiatek lost to Elena Rybakina in the California semifinals, then withdrew from Miami with a rib injury.

Shriver’s take: “I always see her as a contender, of course. She’s No.1, but it’s only natural it is starting to get a harder for Iga to stay there as we saw last year. But let's not forget the dominant runs she has strung together, including a 37-match win streak in 2022 that included titles in Indian Wells and Miami. As the top player, you're always a target. I was in Australia a couple months ago when she went three sets with Danielle Collins and lost to Linda Noskova. While it was a surprise, my feeling is the depth in women’s tennis is at its best, from No.10 to No.100, maybe more than No.2-10, so these upsets might become more frequent.”

Aryna Sabalenka: After winning the Australian Open a year ago, Sabalenka reached the final in Indian Wells, losing to Rybakina. In Miami, it was a quarterfinal loss to Sorana Cirstea. Sabalenka lost the only match she played in the Middle East and feels more comfortable with the conditions in California.

Shriver’s take: “Of course, she can win in Indian Wells. But if you’re going to play someone who’s just won a major -- for the second time -- the time to do it is early. I’m a big believer that these byes, given the depth in the game, can make it difficult. One match is not a lot of tennis since Melbourne, and that can be a problem. With 32 seeds, there’s a little more protection. Still, if Sabalenka gets rolling early, there’s no reason she can’t win this event.”

Coco Gauff: She’ll turn 20 the second week of the tournament. Her career record in Indian Wells and Miami is a combined 9-7, and Gauff is coming off an underwhelming run in the Middle East where she went only 2-2. 

Shriver’s take: “The one thing I’m always impressed with, no matter how she’s playing, she rolls up her sleeves and is willing to get in the trenches. You only do that if you’re a natural competitor. There’s two major parts to Coco’s game: the mental game and her court speed. Speed, defense and attitude are pretty doggone good. That wins you a lot of matches, even if you’re not playing your best tennis.”

Elena Rybakina: No one was better in the grueling, coast-to-coast Sunshine Double a year ago. She beat the World No.1 and No.2 to take the title in Indian Wells, then advanced to the Miami final, losing to Petra Kvitova. Rybakina should be fresh after withdrawing from the Dubai quarterfinals.

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Shriver’s take: “Her serve is one of the best shots currently in women’s tennis -- I love watching it. She lost that [second-round Australian Open] match to Anna Blinkova, one of the more memorable [22-20 in the third] tiebreaks you’ll ever see. She’s a threat to win every tournament she plays.” 

Jessica Pegula: After skipping the Middle East swing with a neck injury, Pegula emerged with a new coaching staff, former professionals Mark Knowles and Mark Merklein. Pegula, who spent a week in Dallas training with Knowles, reached the semifinals last week in San Diego, losing to Marta Kostyuk. 

Shriver’s take: “In the past couple of years, Pegula has played steadily everywhere she goes. She’s in transition right now. I saw part of her new coaching team in San Diego, and it looks like this is a dynamic that will work to help Pegula not only have more wins at WTA 1000 events but have more success at the majors. For as solid as Pegula has been, a change could propel her to greater heights.”

Zheng Qinwen: She had the best tournament of her young life in Melbourne, reaching the final before losing to Sabalenka. She’s only 21 years old and already a Top 10 player. Zheng did not play Indian Wells a year ago because of a lingering injury.

Shriver’s take: “You could see her coming for a while now. Her working relationship with Pere Riba is a good matchup. I was glad they got back together. The hitch in her serve is a bit of a concern, but she’s 21 years old. I thought she handled the pressure down in Melbourne really well.”  

Emma Raducanu: A year ago, she beat two Top 25 players in the desert -- Beatriz Haddad Maia and Magda Linette. Coming off three surgeries, Raducanu will try to recapture that form. The 2021 US Open champion is 3-4 to start the year. Raducanu will enter Indian Wells as a wild card.

Shriver’s take: “I find this era of tennis so demanding on the joints. I want to see how she stands up to the test of time. There is history that shows some players never fully regain their form, but all indications are Raducanu is fully motivated to become a successful player again. Even though we’re going on more than two years since winning the US Open, that run should give her confidence she can compete with the best players in the world when healthy.”

Karolina Pliskova: After ending her 2023 season early, Pliskova -- now 31 --looks dialed in again. This is her 12th appearance in Indian Wells. She reached back-to-back semifinals in 2016-17. Last year, she beat No.11 Veronika Kudermetova before falling to Maria Sakkari in the Round of 16. Like Raducanu, Pliskova also received a wild card into Indian Wells.

Shriver’s take: “It’s easy to leave the game for a spell and not get it back. But the Middle East was encouraging for her. You get these veteran players who get these second and third winds. After a dip, they feel like they still love playing and they pick up their level again. Something motivates them and they find it again. We’ve seen that with Pliskova, and she has had a history of success in these two upcoming events.”