In the end, Sod needed only a single, decisive ace to seal a three set win over Ernie in a baseline slugfest that was anything but.
Ernie failed to convert more breakpoints than his fanbase were comfortable with – he also used his serve to dig himself out of trouble more times than I was comfortable with. Draw your own conclusions.
The good news for Sod fans is he was able to work his way into, and impress himself upon, a match that could easily have run away from him: Ernie rarely comes out with less than all 8 guns blazing and Sod hadn’t played since the final of Baastad three weeks ago.
Mission “come-forth” also remains firmly on track.
The bad news is he’s on course to play Daveed - who needed all of three sets to tough out Ferru in a match I couldn’t wait to see the back of.
Though I kinda wonder having picked up a title last week and been put through the mill in his opening match here, just how much Nalbie has left - and whether an earlyish exit might, somewhat counter-intuitively, work in his favour going into the USO.