Bernard Tomic fixed his gaze firmly on the fourth round after apologising for his Wimbledon faux pas and vowing to step up his title bid.
Tomic defeated Moldovan qualifier Radu Albot 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 to set up a clash with 14th seed Roberto Bautista-Agut before expressing his regret at saying he felt “like a retard” on Thursday.
“Look, I apologise if I offended anyone. I’m sorry. It just came out the wrong way,” Tomic said after upsetting British learning disability charity Mencap.
Tomic was responding to a question about if it was fair he was made to wait for eight minutes for his second-round opponent Fernando Verdasco to arrive back on court after a rain delay.
“I did get to the court prior to him very early and unfortunately I had to stand on court like a retard,” he said.
Australia’s 19th seed is hoping to put the controversy behind him as he focuses on making the second week at the All England Club for the third time.
He knows Bautista-Agut will be challenging, but not as challenging an opponent as he could have struck.
“It’s a good third round,” Tomic said.
“It’s very tough for both of us, but you’re not playing a Djokovic, not playing a Federer.
“So I have to look at this match and go for it. Because if I do that, I should come out on top.
“But it’s going to be very, very tough. I have to take one point at a time. It’s going to be a very big grind out there for sure.
“He competes well, he’s an amazing mover and that’s why he’s close to top 10.”
Tomic was the first Australian into the last 32, but quickly joined by John Millman.
Millman celebrated his Olympic selection on Thursday with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 4-6 6-2 upset win over French 26th seed Benoit Paire to book a showcourt showdown with local hero and 2013 champion Andy Murray.
But Australia’s top-ranked player and only other women’s hope both bombed out.
Samantha Stosur, the 14th seed, succumbed 6-4 6-2 to German grasscourt specialist Sabine Lisicki, while in-form 19th seed Dominika Cibulkova ousted Daria Gavrilova 6-3 6-2.
Runner-up in 2013 and a semi-finalist on three other occasions, Lisicki once again rose to the occasion to eliminate Stosur in just 70 minutes with a blaze of winners and unreturnable serves.
Stosur was philosophical in defeat after once again failing to back up another fine run to the French Open semi-finals.
“Look, when you are playing a player who’s playing very well, you have to find a way to do anything you can. I felt like I did that,” she said.
“I tried my hardest.”
Qualifier Matt Barton, meanwhile, is savouring his maiden main-draw grand slam win after completing an epic, rain-marred first-round victory over Frenchman Albano Olivetti that started on Tuesday.
Barton defied 56 aces from Olivetti to prevail 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 14-12 and set up a date on Friday with American 18th seed John Isner.
HOW THE AUSSIES FARED AT WIMBLEDON (PREFIX DENOTES SEEDING)
Women’s singles, second round
14-Samantha Stosur lost to Sabine Lisicki (GER) 6-4 6-2
Daria Gavrilova lost to 19-Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 6-3 6-2
Men’s singles, first round
Matt Barton bt Albano Olivetti (FRA) 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 14-12
Men’s singles, second round
19-Bernard Tomic bt Radu Albot (MDA) 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-3
John Millman bt Benoit Paire (FRA) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 4-6 6-2