Launceston, TAS, 4 February 2020 | Asher Packman

Blake Mott survived an early scare to join a host of Australians in the second round at the Launceston International on Tuesday.

Continuing to build after a hiatus from the game – and a recent wrist injury which forced him to retire from the Australian Open wildcard playoff match against Alex Bolt – Mott was slow to start, dropping the first set, before recovering to finish strongly and take the match away from Japanese qualifier Naoki Tajima 4-6 6-1 6-2.

“We were in a bit of a battle there, but I was able to get on a roll, which was good,” Mott, 23, said.

In a race against time, Mott was able to get back in time to play the qualifying event at the Australian Open, in which he notched a solid first round win before falling to Frenchman Constant Lestienne.

“That was a bit disappointing,” he said. “But I’m feeling really good now and it’s great to have the wrist back to one hundred per cent.

“It’s still early days in the comeback, and I’m just seeing how I go each tournament. Every match is a bonus and I’m not putting too much pressure on myself as I ease my way back into the tour life.”

Mott will next need to get past Launceston’s top seed Marc Polmans, with the good friends now opposing each other.

It was a rough day for the seeds on Tuesday, with only two of the six seeded players on court making it through to the second round. Most notably, Japan’s third seed, Tatsuma Ito, was bounced out by Argentinian Matias Franco Decotte in straight sets.

Of the Australians, second seed Bolt advanced – alongside Jason Kubler – while teenage wildcard Dane Sweeny secured a standout win against Italian Andrea Vavassori, the world No.282.

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