ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters: Stanislas Wawrinka beats Roger Federer in all-Swiss final
By Razwan Mirza - Tweet me: @RazMirza. Last Updated: 21/04/14 11:30am
Stanislas Wawrinka sealed his first Monte Carlo Masters title after coming from behind to beat Roger Federer 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 in the first all-Swiss final in 14 years.
The Swiss No 1 secured a maiden Masters 1000 title in his third final with a near-perfect deciding set performance in a clash which lasted two hours 13 minutes.
"It's been an incredible week for me," said Wawrinka. "To finally win a Masters 1000 is unbelievable.
"Roger has done incredible things in his career, he's the best of all-time for me. It was an honour to play him in the final and to win."
In the idyllic setting at the Monte Carlo Country Club and in front of a full house, the first four games went with serve until Federer made a decisive move.
Wawrinka, who had been 100 per cent on his service game all week in the principality, made some uncharacteristic errors to hand his opponent the break he was craving.
Federer, who featured in the last all-Swiss final when he lost to Marc Rosset in the 2000 Marseille decider, came into the clash with a 13-1 head-to-head record against his Davis Cup colleague and looked on course to make it number 14 after wrapping up the first set without being troubled too much.
After the players traded breaks in the second and third games, the second set went into a tie-breaker in which Wawrinka quickly opened up a 4-1 lead.
The Australian Open champion and world No 3 restored parity by nailing his opportunity on his third set point before coming out brimming with confidence in the decider.
Wawrinka, whose last win over Federer came at the same venue in 2009, started to produce his very best tennis, bludgeoning the 32-year-old with some brutal groundstrokes to break in the first and third games and leave the 17-time Grand Slam champion reeling.
The 29-year-old lost the Rome Masters final to Novak Djokovic in 2008 and lost to Rafael Nadal in a Madrid Masters title bid last May.
But this was to be his moment as he went on to serve out the match and complete the comeback against his close friend, securing his third ATP title of the year and seventh of his career.
"I don't think I served quite so well early on in the third set," said Federer. "I think he really found his range and started to hit bigger, deeper. He didn't miss that many second serve returns any more.
"He gave me a couple cheap points in the first couple sets which he later on really didn't give me any more."