Monte Carlo: Stanislas Wawrinka signalled his French Open ambitions when he beat Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 in an all-Swiss Monte Carlo Masters final, here, on Sunday.
Third seed and Australian Open champion Wawrinka recovered from the loss of the opening set to claim his maiden Masters title on the Monte Carlo clay just six weeks before the start of the May 25-June 8 Grand Slam tournament in Paris.
“I am really happy, after having won a first Grand Slam title to win a Masters, it’s outstanding,” Wawrinka told a courtside interviewer. “Roger, you’re the best player ever, it’s always special for me to play against you and I hope we will have a great year you and me.”
Federer, whose only defeat in 14 previous encounters against Wawrinka had occurred in Monte Carlo in 2009, said: “I had a great week. Congratulations to Stanislas, I hope it will continue for you like that for years.”
Fourth seed Federer, who had beaten an injured Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, was his brilliant old self for almost an hour but the 17-time Grand Slam champion was eventually overwhelmed by his opponent’s power.
Wawrinka played with great depth and power as Federer was eventually pushed back far from his baseline and was prevented from attacking.
Federer saw off a break point in the fourth game, Wawrinka banging his racket on his head in frustration after his passing shot went long.
Federer was more composed, breaking for 3-2 as Wawrinka’s usually reliable backhand sailed long.