CHRISTOPHER O'Connell will carry the Aussie hopes into the quarter finals of the Bendigo ATP Challenger, after a weather interrupted day on Wednesday.
O'Connell advanced to the final eight following a straight sets victory over Queensland teenager Alexander Crnokrak at the Bendigo Tennis Centre.
The 25-year-old Sydneysider, who is ranked 116th in the world, had to dig deep to overcome a determined Crnokrak, eventually winning 6-4, 6-3.
Crnokrak came into the match on a high, after downing French number nine seed Hugo Gaston on Tuesday, to reach the last 16 at a Challenger event for the first time.
He bowed out with his reputation enhanced and with the promise of bright things to come in 2020.
Defeats for Maverick Banes and Calum Puttergill leave O'Connell as the sole Australian remaining in the draw.
Banes lost an epic three-setter to Italian number 10 seed Andrea Vavassori, in a match lasting two hours and 10 minutes, while Puttergill was beaten in straight sets by American Steve Johnson.
The South African-born Puttergill was unlucky not to clinch the first set, going down in a tie-breaker, before the number four seed Johnson stamped his authority on the contest to win the second set 6-0.
Play at the start of day four was delayed by one hour due to air quality concerns and was later halted by thunderstorms.
Teenager Harold Mayot became the first player through to the quarter finals after downing fellow Frenchman Hugo Grenier in straight sets.
Mayot, ranked 611th in the world, upset the tournament's 12th seed with a 7-6, 7-5 victory.
The resilient 17-year-old saved seven of nine break points and was able to break Grenier's serve on three occasions to cap a polished performance.
Mayot's win sets up an intriguing quarter final showdown against Californian right-hander Johnson.
Fellow American Marcos Giron is also through to the quarter finals following a win over Indian Sasikumar Makund.
Play was suspended about 4pm after thunderstorms rolled into Bendigo, leaving several matches unfinished.
Second seed Roberto Carbelles Baena, from Spain, led Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera 4-2 when play was halted, while Italian Stefano Travaglia - seeded third - trailed Russian Konstantin Kravchuk 5-6.
The clash between fifth seeded Damir Dzumhur and Japan's Yosuke Watanuki was level at one set apiece.
Despite several singles and doubles matches being delayed, tournament director Shelly Hart said officials were confident of being back on schedule by the close of play on Thursday.
"There will be a little bit of catch-up with not completing (Wednesday's) schedule, but we will push those matches through tomorrow," she said.
"It looks like better weather tomorrow (Thursday)."
Play resumes at 11am on Thursday.
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