Friday, October 8, 2021 - Andy Murray plays Adrian Mannarino on day 5 of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Kathryn Riley/BNP Paribas Open)
Canada’s Vasek Pospisil has had a year of ups and downs, and it certainly showed in his topsy-turvy first-round encounter against J.J. Wolf in their BNP Paribas Open night session classic.
Although he ultimately prevailed 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 over his American opponent, he found himself down a break early in the third set and took out his frustrations on his racquet. The smash itself might have been even more impressive than his ability to turn that final set around, as he obliterated his trusty Wilson stick with several full swings before sending it flying across the court.
Pospisil racquet smash. He finished the job off-screen.#bnppo21 pic.twitter.com/r4VjEsMe3f
— Tennis GIFs 🎾🎥 (@tennis_gifs) October 8, 2021
10/10 destruction level, easily.
What do Mackenzie McDonald, Marcos Giron, Maxime Cressy, Ernesto Escobedo, Jenson Brooksby and BRANDON NAKASHMA have in common? They’re all from California and they’re all through to the second round in Tennis Paradise.
The Californian contingent has enjoyed heavy local support, playing above their usual levels to deliver impressive performances in the Palm Desert. Here’s who they’ll have to beat next to keep the run going:
McDonald vs.  Daniil Medvedev
Giron vs.  Filip Krajinovic
Cressy vs.  Diego Schwartzman
Garin vs.  Cristian Garin
Brooksy vs.  Alexander Zverev
Nakashima vs.  Taylor Fritz
The October timing of the 2021 BNP Paribas Open might have thrown some peoples’ tennis tournament schedule for a loop, but certainly not doubles fans.
Side courts all week have been packed with fans checking out men’s and women’s doubles, which in Tennis Paradise traditionally features some intriguing match-ups with top singles players.
Canadians Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime faced off each other on Stadium 5 on Friday to a full house, while Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey won a thriller over Diego Schwartzman and Lloyd Harris on that same court later in the day.
Metal hip? Doesn’t matter. After showing flashes of his best tennis in his five-set epic against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the US Open, Andy Murray consolidated his form in his BNP Paribas Open first-round encounter with Adrian Mannarino.
Moving with renewed vigor and dealing with Mannarino’s unconventional left strokes with little trouble, the former World No. 1 showed you can never count a champion out (even if his wife might after he accidentally misplaced his wedding ring…) – and advanced 6-3, 6-2 in one hour, 23 minutes of play.
With current depth of men’s game, every match is a battle, and as seeded players kick off their campaigns on Saturday after first-round byes, they’ll have to be sharp out of the gates. Conditions will be near-perfect in Indian Wells in the coming weeks, so there will be nothing to hide behind, and every player is hungry to have a strong finish to their 2021 seasons.
Here are a couple big second-round clashes to keep an eye on for potential upset alerts:
 Denis Shapovalov vs. Vasek Pospisil
 Sebastian Korda vs. Frances Tiafoe
 Daniel Evans vs. Kei Nishikori
 John Isner vs. Yoshihito Nishioka
 Alexander Zverev vs. Jenson Brooksby
 Karen Khachanov vs. Emil Ruusuvuori