- Monte Carlo Masters
Wawrinka masters Federer to rule in Monte Carlo
Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Roger Federer for only the second time in his career to triumph 4-6 7-6(5) 6-2 in Monte Carlo and claim his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title.
The Australian Open champion, whose one victory in 14 matches against Federer prior to Sunday's final came at this event in 2009, made it third time lucky to become a Masters champion having lost in the finals of Rome in 2008 and Madrid last year.
Federer, conqueror of 2013 champion Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, finishes a runner-up in Monte Carlo for a fourth time as his hopes of winning the event in the principality for the first time disappear for another year.
Federer broke his fellow countryman in the fifth game of the opening set after Wawrinka sent a backhand long. Federer consolidated the advantage and maintained the break throughout the set to edge in front.
Wawrinka raced into a 2-0 lead in the second set after winning three successive points from 30-15 behind. However, Federer quickly reclaimed the break to love to get on the scoreboard.
Wawrinka continued to put pressure on the Federer serve as the latter saved two break points en route to levelling the set at 2-2.
A light rain drizzle briefly stopped play as the pair shared the following four games. Wawrinka twice forced Federer to hold his serve to stay in the set, which he did to set up a tiebreak.
Wawrinka claimed the mini-break to go 4-1 in front. Federer closed the gap to 4-3, but Wawrinka on his third set point took the encounter into a deciding set following a serve out wide and an overhead smash at the net.
Wawrinka kept his momentum going into the final set by sealing a double break to move 4-0 ahead as he pinned Federer behind the baseline with deep groundstrokes.
Federer made it 4-1 and 5-2 as he attempted to prolong the tie, but Wawrinka in the eighth game flashed a cross-court forehand past Federer to clinch victory.
"It's always special to play Roger," Wawrinka said. "We know it's always a strange match, especially being in the final here. He's my best friend on the tour. We respect each other so much. I'm just trying on the court to win the match. Before and after, we are still very good friends. During the match, we just try everything to win. Today I'm really happy to take that one."
Despite losing, Federer was delighted to see Wawrinka win the title, saying: "Of course, I'm very happy for Stan. It's a huge win for him after winning his first Grand Slam this year, also to win his first Masters 1000. To take the opportunities when they're there, that's key in a tennis player's career. So I'm very happy for him."