Pam Shriver reveals who between Swiatek and Sabalenka can win Indian Wells

The legendary American tennis player analyzed the Californian WTA 1000

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Pam Shriver reveals who between Swiatek and Sabalenka can win Indian Wells
© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport

The WTA 1000 tournament in Indian Wells begins to give its first verdicts. The first, without a doubt, is the third round reached by WTA No.1 Iga Swiatek who, overcoming Danielle Collins 6-3 6-0, she has already made it clear that her form is growing rapidly.

Today the Pole's two main rivals for the final victory will play in the bottom-half of the BNP Paribas Open: Coco Gauff and Aryna Sabalenka (considering Elena Rybakina's withdrawal). It is likely that the winner of the Californian tournament will emerge among one of these three champions.

The former winner of 21 Slam doubles titles Pam Shriver, in an interview with the WTA, expressed her opinion regarding the WTA 1000 in Indian Wells, focusing her attention on the challenge between Swiatek and Sabalenka.

"I always see Iga Swiatek as a favorite. She is WTA No.1, but it is natural that Iga has more and more difficulty staying there, as we saw last year. But let's not forget the dominant streaks she put together, including a 37-match winning streak in 2022, included titles at Indian Wells and Miami. Being the best player you are always a target," she explained

Shriver also talked about the Pole's main rival, Aryna Sabalenka.

"Of course Aryna can win Indian Wells. However, I firmly believe that these pauses, given the depth of the game, can make it difficult. With the 32 seed there is a little more protection, however there is no reason why she can't win this event," she said.

Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek
Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

Pam also analyzed the chances of her young countrywoman Coco Gauff.

"The one thing that always impresses me, no matter how she plays, is that she rolls up her sleeves and is willing to get in the trenches. You only do this if you are a natural athlete. There are two main parts to Coco's style: her mental game and her speed on the court. The speed, defense and attitude are pretty good. This wins you a lot of matches, even if you're not playing your best tennis," she told her.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Francois Nel / Staff Getty Images Sport

Shriver analyzed the Indian Wells chances of Zheng, Pliskova and Raducanu

Shriver also analyzed what other stars like Qinwen Zheng, Karolina Pliskova and Emma Raducanu can achieve.

"Middle East for Karolina Pliskova has been encouraging. Veterans feel they still love the game and get back to their level. Something motivates them and they find it again. We saw it with Pliskova and she has had a success story in these two recent events.

I find this era of tennis to be very demanding on the joints, so I want to see how Emma Raducanu will stand the test of time. There is a story that shows that some players never fully regain their form, but all indications point to Raducanu being fully motivated to become a successful tennis player again. Even though it's been more than two years since she won the US Open, that record should give her confidence that she can compete with the best in the world when she's healthy.

Qinwen Zheng's relationship with Pere Riba is a good match and I was happy that they got back together. The problem with her service is a little concerning, but she is 21 years old. I think she handled the pressure very well in Melbourne," she explained.

Elena Rybakina, as I said at the beginning of the article, retired on the eve of her 2nd round match at the BNP Paribas Open, but Shriver had an analysis for her too:

"Her serve is one of the best shots currently in women's tennis, I love look at him. She lost that second round match at the Australian Open to Anna Blinkova and played one of the most memorable tiebreakers she's ever seen. She is a threat, she can win every tournament she plays in."

Pam Shriver Indian Wells