Bhambri, a Wild Card entry, was fortunate that World No.16 Fognini, nursing a thigh injury, conceded at 5-5 in the second set after losing the first 1-6 as the 21-year old Indian set up a clash with fifth seeded Canadian Vasek Pospisil who received a walk-over from an injured Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei.

However, qualifier Ramkumar Ramanathan's dream run ended on the Centre Court as sixth seeded Spaniard Marcel Granollers coasted to a 6-2, 6-4, victory to also book his spot in the quarter-final where he meets No.4 seed Benoit Paire of France who later beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-1, 6-4.

In his 76-minute stay on the Centre Court, the 28-year old Fognini gave glimpses of his class against Bhambri, ranked 194 and it was just as well for the Indian that the match ended where it did.

In fact, Fognini blasted 13 winners to Bhambri's seven, but committed 28 unforced errors to 11 by his opponent. Fognini, virtually playing on one leg, still had enough firepower to break Bhambri once in the second set that he dominated before throwing in the towel at 5-5.

Thus, the number of retirements in this tournament, including that of second seed Mikhail Youzhny, rose to four after defending champion Janko Tipsarevic and Jurgen Zopp pulled out in the lead up to the event.

Bhambri, despite the default win, was unfazed and pointed out that he would take any opportunity to progress.

"I will take that win. We worked pretty hard to get there. You want him to play a full match and be fit for Australia, but any time one gets these opportunities, one takes them," Bhambri said.

“It was important to stay focused. He came up with a couple of good shots. I tried to play a lot more rallies. I lost concentration in the second set, tried to play safe, but got back into the match to play the way I wanted to," summed up Bhambri.

 (Agencies)

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