THIRROUL’S Blake Mott beat opponent Dayne Kelly and the weather to gain a significant advantage at the Wollongong International.
Mott moved through to the quarter-finals with a hard-fought 6-4, 7-6 victory over Kelly, who had knocked out No 6 seed Maverick Banes on Wednesday.
While Mott and Czech No 4 seed Robin Stanek progressed to the last eight, the rest of the main draw was delayed by persistent inclement weather.
Stanek beat Australian Marc Polmans 7-6, 6-2.
However, American No 1 seed Connor Smith was forced to a third set when play was suspended at Beaton Park. Smith took the first 6-2 against Jacob Grills, but the match was levelled after a second set tie-break.
They will return to the court, but not before 10am on Friday, with Ben Mitchell’s match against Max Purcell getting play underway at 9am. The winner will then back-up against Mott on Friday afternoon.
“I just have to be patient and take it one match at a time,” Mitchell said. “Hopefully I can get the job done.” Seventh seed Marcos Giron, also from the US, move through to the quarters in a three set thriller against Bradley Mousley.
Giron won 6-7, 6-3, 7-6, winning the decisive tie-breaker 7-5.
The men’s final will be played on Sunday.
With the doubles also well behind schedule, the semi-finals and final will be played on Saturday.
Organisers are bracing for a possible thunderstorm on Friday and rain during the weekend, putting the schedule under further strain.