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 May 25-June 8 grand slam
tournament in Paris.
"I can see that when mentally I'm there and I'm fighting, I can play
tennis, I can beat all the players," Wawrinka told reporters.
"When I came here, for me it was more like a test. I knew I was
playing good tennis, but I didn't expect to win because the draw was
"Clay, it's natural for me. It's easy. I'm always happy to come back
on clay. It's always easy."
Federer, whose only defeat in 14 previous matches against Wawrinka
was in Monte Carlo in 2009, said: "I had a great week.
Congratulations to Stan, I hope it will continue for you like that
Fourth seed Federer, who beat an injured Novak Djokovic in the
semi-finals, was his brilliant old self for almost an hour but the
17-times grand slam champion was eventually overwhelmed by his
Wawrinka played with great depth as Federer was eventually pushed
back far from his baseline and was prevented from attacking.
"I don't think I served quite so well early on in the third set,"
"I think he really found his range and started to hit bigger,
deeper. He didn't miss that many second serve returns anymore.
"He gave me a couple cheap points in the first couple sets which he
later on really didn't give me anymore."
Federer saved 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.
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Another long backhand from Wawrinka gave Federer the opening set
after 42 minutes.
Wawrinka opened a 2-0 lead in the second set, only for his opponent
to steal his serve straight back with a stunning backhand down the
Federer saved more break points in the fourth game, including one
with a superb forehand winner as the second set went to a tiebreak.
Federer saved two set points before Wawrinka finished it off with a
Wawrinka broke in the first game of the decider with a forehand
winner down the line as Federer looked disorientated.
Federer went to the net to save another break point at 2-0, but a
crosscourt forehand earned Wawrinka a second break and a 3-0 lead.
He followed up on serve and Federer never threatened a comeback,
bowing out following yet another forehand winner by Wawrinka.
(Writing by Julien Pretot; editing by Ed Osmond)
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