Big servers Karolina Pliskova, Bianca Andreescu and Reilly Opelka saw their most potent weapon neutralized by strong desert winds on Monday as they all crashed out of Indian Wells.
The biggest upset of the day came when tournament lucky loser Beatriz Haddad Maia, ranked 115 in the world, defeated top seed Pliskova 6-3 7-5 in a match where service holds were rare as wind gusts reached 40 miles per hour.
Pliskova, who reached the Wimbledon final in July, served 12 double faults and her service was broken eight times by the Brazilian in their third-round meeting.
Haddad Maia will next face Anett Kontaveit after the Estonian beat defending champion Bianca Andreescu 7-6(5) 6-3 to extend her winning streak to eight matches.
Kontaveit, who already has two hard court titles to her name this season, won the last five games of the match to see off the tournament's 2019 champion, who won the U.S. Open crown the same year.
Opelka's thunderous serve lacked its usual potency as the towering American lost 6-3 6-4 to Grigor Dimitrov.
The win avenged Dimitrov's defeat to Opelka in straight sets at the Canadian Open in August.
Dimitrov will next face top-seeded Daniil Medvedev, who defeated 27th seed Filip Krajinovic 6-2 7-6(1). Medvedev's fellow Russian, Andrey Rublev, lost 6-4 3-6 7-5 to American Tommy Paul.
In other third-round action, Diego Schwartzman sent Briton Dan Evans packing 5-7 6-4 6-0 and 10th seed Angelique Kerber held on to defeat Daria Kasatkina 6-2 1-6 6-4
Evans, who reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open last month, fought back from 5-2 down to win the first set and maintained the momentum to break the Argentine 11th seed's serve in the opening game of the second set.
But Schwartzman roared back to convert four of six break points in the second set to level the match. Evans never regained his footing and Schwartzman dropped only two first-serve points in the third set.
Kerber came out on top in a see-saw contest where she dropped the second set after winning just 11 of 28 first serve points. The German fended off double break point to close out the match.
Paula Badosa beat 15th seed Coco Gauff 6-2 6-2 to set up a clash with French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, who sealed an equally clinical 6-2 6-3 win over Amanda Anisimova.
American John Isner, seeded 20th, withdrew prior to his third-round match scheduled for Tuesday against Jannik Sinner to return home for the birth of his third child.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York and Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; additional reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates and Timothy Heritage)