Wawrinka beats Federer in all-Swiss final of Monte Carlo Masters
Stanislas Wawrinka won the Monte Carlo Masters for the first time after rallying to beat Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 in a rare all-Swiss final on Sunday.
The Australian Open champion had lost his previous two Masters finals and looked like losing a third until Federer's level dropped suddenly late in the second set, and Wawrinka began troubling the 17-time grand slam tennis champion with his aggressive backhand.
The fourth-seeded Federer, who accepted a wild card invitation to play in the tournament, was also looking to win it for the first time after losing his three previous finals there to eight-time champion Rafael Nadal from 2006-08.
Wawrinka has beaten Federer only twice in 15 matches but both victories have come there. He also beat him in the third round in 2009.
"It's exceptional to be able to win my first Masters title here," Wawrinka said.
When the third-seeded Wawrinka served for the match, Federer shouted in frustration as he missed an easy forehand on second serve at 15-15. On the next point, Federer's backhand went wide and Wawrinka clinched victory with a crisp forehand winner that landed on the line.
The players, who are good friends, shared a warm hug at the net. "I had a great week here," Federer said. "Congratulations to Stan."
It is the seventh title of the 29-year-old Wawrinka's career, and his third this year.
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic admitted he has no idea when he will play again after a right wrist injury contributed to his 7-5, 6-2 semi-final loss to Federer in the Monte Carlo Masters.
World number two Djokovic, who played with a brace on his wrist, revealed that he suffered pain in his wrist all week.
But with the French Open just five weeks away, and his next scheduled event the Madrid Masters in a fortnight, timing is everything for the Serb who won the 2013 Monte Carlo title against Rafael Nadal.
"I'll just rest now. I cannot play tennis for some time - how long, I don't know. It's really not in my hands any more. I'm going to rest and see when it can heal 100 per cent, then I will be back on the court," said Djokovic.
"The good thing is I don't need to have surgery, I don't have any rupture or something like that."