St Petersburg Open – Wednesday

10:00 – Becker v Stakhovsky

Rankings are 57 and 37. They haven’t played before.

Becker reached the semi finals in Thailand where he beat Verdasco in the 2nd round. Other than that he hasn’t had much success over recent weeks.

Stakhovsky is in a bit of a slump in form. He seems to be low on confidence and since a lot of his game is based around having great touch around the net  ( as well as his big serve) then a lack of confidence can wreck that touch.

Over the last month they have held serve 83% and 73%. Becker is also ahead in the stats for return of serve and he has converted over 50% of break point chances.

Stakhovsky is defending champion here although the tournament organisers have changed the courts from last year. I am a fan of Stakhovsky but it can’t be ignored that he has been playing well below his normal standard. He hasn’t won a match in straight sets for quite a while.

I think these two are quite even at the moment. Becker has slightly better recent form and that will be matched by Stakhovsky being more motivated wanting to defend his title.

As usual watch the opening couple of games to get a feel for who settles quickest. Both can be backed on serve although if either is struggling with their first serves early on then I would avoid their service games until they sort it out.

A real possibility of 3 sets and I have to go with the stats and recent form to give Becker the edge.

Update: Becker won 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

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