Becker v Kunitsyn:
Head to heads are 1-1 although they haven;t played since 2008. Kunitsyn won their last match.
Becker’s drop down the rankings has been quite spectacular and he is now ranked 304. His highest was 38 back in 2008. He withdrew from the French Open with an injury to his left elbow and was out for about 5 months. He now has the task of climbing back up the rankings. He played a couple of Challenger events in November with limited success. He was able to beat the lower ranked players but struggled against the more quality opponents.
Kunitsyn was as unspectacular as usual last season with the occasional decent performance including beating Melzer at the US Open and taking Tipsarevic to 3 sets in Moscow.
I would expect Becker to be stronger than Kunitsyn although if the Russian can serve well he has a decent chance.
I’ll se how they start but Becker at 2.18 would seem like value. I don’t think this will be a high quality encounter.
Voskoboeva v Schiavone:
They have played once before which was in August’s US Open last year and was also on a hrd court. Schiavone won in 3 sets.
Schiavone started the year badly by going 0-2 down in her match with Pervak. Pervak was injured and retired from the match in the first set. Schiavone doesn’t have a great record in Brisbane and i don’t believe she would have beaten a fit Pervak.
Voskoboeva humiliated Dushhevina and handed her a double bagel defeat in the first round. I expect her to make the faster start in this maatch as schiavone hasn’t had match time to get get her week going.
I will be laying Schiavone at the start though not with full stake. I expect her to go behind in the first set but I do expect her to come through the match. Three sets are quite likely.