Canadian Vasek Pospisil is moving up fast in Indian Wells.
He defeated American J.J. Wolf 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday to book a second-round date with fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov.
Shapovalov seeded 9th and earned automatic entry through the Round of 128.
After dominating the first set, Pospisil ceded control of the match during a shakier second set.
Pospisil Smashed His Racket
Wolf, 187th, broke the 68th-ranked Canadian to go up 3-1 in the third set. Pospisil, perhaps feeling the match slipping away, smashed his racket in frustration, leading to an unsportsmanlike conduct warning from the chair umpire.
But Pospisil composed himself, breaking back twice to avoid the final-set tiebreaker and advance at the California tournament.
Three other Canadians are competing in California.
Felix Auger-Aliassime, seeded seventh, awaits the winner of a match between Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti in the second round.
On the women’s side, 2021 US Open finalist Leylah Annie Fernandez, seeded 23rd, takes on France’s Alize Cornet in a second-round match on Friday.
Meanwhile, reigning Indian Wells champion Bianca Andreescu is also automatically through to the Round of 64. She’ll face the winner of a match between American Alison Riske and En-Shuo Liang of Taiwan.
The tournament, a joint ATP, and a WTA 1000-point event carry a total prize pool of around $17 million US.
Other notable first-round results on Thursday included wins for Japan’s Kei Nishikori and American Frances Tiafoe, while 38-year-old Hall of Famer Kim Clijsters’ comeback took a hit with a loss to Katerina Siniakova.