The BNP Paribas Open is without the world No. 1 player as of Monday night after No. 28-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine stunned Rafael Nadal 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5) in Indian Wells.
Nadal in his post-match conference refused to blame the loss on back issues he dealt with entering the tournament.
“As soon as I started the competition here I didn’t have the right feelings,” the Spaniard said. “Life continues, you try to keep working hard to go from here. It is not the day to find excuses…It’s impossible to win every single week in the last round of the tournament.”
Dolgopolov will next meet No. 13 Fabio Fognini, who outlasted No. 23 Gael Monfils 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 on Monday.
Top 10-seeded winners on the day into the fourth round were No. 3 Stan Wawrinka routing No. 29 Andreas Seppi 6-0, 6-2; No. 5 Andy Murray surviving Jiri Vesely 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-4; No. 7 Roger Federer edging No. 27 Dmitry Tursunov 7-6(7), 7-6(2); and No. 10 Milos Raonic topping Alejandro Falla 6-4, 6-3.
“Now I feel like I’m in a good place. Zen on the court,” said Federer, despite failing to serve out the first set prior to the tiebreak. “I know what my solid level is. Even if I won 6 and 6 today, I just feel like I was calm and served for the set. Okay, got broken. Still managed to stay calm. Down a set in the second; stayed calm and came back. So those are the moments where you feel there is confidence around somewhere.”
Federer will next meet the No. 11 Tommy Haas vs. No. 19 Kei Nishikori winner, a match that started after 1 a.m. EST Tuesday morning.
Murray on the other hand escaped in very un-zen-like fashion, benefiting when his opponent experienced debilitating foot blisters at the end of the third set.
“It was that sort of match where at no stage did either of us play well at the same time,” Murray said. “There wasn’t one period where I thought the level of tennis from both of us was high at the same time. That can create a lot of breaks and a lot of sort of back and forth swings in the match.”
Murray will next face off against the big-serving Raonic.
No. 17 Kevin Anderson was another player into the fourth round, defeating Evgeny Donskoy 4-6, 6-0, 6-3. The South African will next meet Wawrinka.
On the women’s side, defending champion Maria Sharapova was the biggest seeded scalp on Monday at the BNP Paribas Open, bounced from the event by 22-year-old qualifier Camila Giorgi of Italy in the third round 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.
“She’s quite aggressive, but some shots she hits incredible for a long period of time,” said Sharapova who got her first look at Giorgi in their first career meeting, but didn’t downplay her game being off. “But if I’m speaking about my level, it was nowhere near where it should have been.”
Sharapova, who missed the last few months of the 2013 season with a shoulder injury, has now played four tournaments this year without reaching a final. Against Giorgi she committed 58 unforced errors to 16 winners.
“I think the physical part of it is something that is hurting me a little bit when we’re going into these three-set matches,” she said. “That’s not a secret for anyone. And when you skip those months, there’s nothing that gets back that match play than just going out and doing it.”
Giorgi will next meet No. 20 seed Flavia Pennetta, who upset No. 16 Sam Stosur 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
Top-seeded Li Na was a 6-3, 6-4 winner against Czech Karolina Pliskova, but needed to fight in each set. She was down a break early in the first set, and in the second lost three game in a row before recovering, experiencing some serving issues.
“At least I could win the last point and stay in the tournament,” Li said. “If you’re a tennis player, you’ll make double faults. At least I can improve my serve even more from here. I’ll talk to Carlos after this, because I didn’t get a chance to talk to him yet, we didn’t have time to see each other. We will definitely talk about the serve and what I’m doing, and what we can improve moving forward.”
Li will next meet Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak, who defeated No. 21 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a back and forth encounter 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-0.
Other third-round winners were Russian Alisa Kleybanova easily over Spaniard Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor 6-1, 6-3, and No. 8 Petra Kvitova who outlasted No. 27 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 2-6, 6-0.
Kvitova will next meet No. 12 Dominika Cibulkova, who on Monday defeated No. 23 Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 7-5. Kleybanova will face No. 17 Sloane Stephens who upset No. 11 Ana Ivanovic 7-6(3), 6-4 in the late match.
“She’s beaten me twice on a pretty big stage,” Stephens said. “Staying positive has worked for me.”
TUESDAY INDIAN WELLS SCHEDULE
STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
ATP –  T Robredo (ESP) vs  M Cilic (CRO)
WTA –  J Jankovic (SRB) vs  C Wozniacki (DEN)
ATP – A Gonzalez (COL) vs  N Djokovic (SRB)
WTA –  A Cornet (FRA) vs  A Radwanska (POL)
Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – Y Lu (TPE) vs  J Isner (USA)
Not Before 8:30 pm
WTA –  N Li (CHN) vs A Wozniak (CAN)
STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
WTA –  S Halep (ROU) vs  E Bouchard (CAN)
ATP –  R Gasquet (FRA) vs  F Verdasco (ESP)
ATP –  G Dimitrov (BUL) vs  E Gulbis (LAT)
ATP – [Q] D Thiem (AUT) vs J Benneteau (FRA)
Not Before 5:00 pm
WTA –  S Stephens (USA) vs A Kleybanova (RUS)
ATP –  B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs J Benneteau (FRA) / E Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
Also Check Out:
Sharapova Faces Moonballin’ Wozniacki For Indian Wells Women’s Title Sunday
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Petra Kvitova Withdraw From Indian Wells
An Earthquake Hit Indian Wells This Morning, Here’s How It Looked On The Tennis Channel (With Player Reaction) [Video]
Maria Sharapova And Victoria Azarenka Are Excited To Meet Monday In The Indian Wells Third Round
Nadal Crushes Murray for Masters Indian Wells Title