Wawrinka takes Monte Carlo title

Stanislas Wawrinka beats fellow Swiss Roger Federer to win the first Masters 1000 title of his career in Monte Carlo.

    It is the seventh title of the 29-year-old Wawrinka's career, and his third this year [AFP]
    It is the seventh title of the 29-year-old Wawrinka's career, and his third this year [AFP]

    Stanislas Wawrinka won the Monte Carlo Masters for the first time, rallying to beat Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 in a rare all-Swiss final.

    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 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 here to eight-time champion Rafael Nadal from 2006-08.

    Federer broke for a 3-2 lead when Wawrinka's backhand long, and served out the first set when his countryman over-hit another backhand.

    Wawrinka secured a break to take a 2-0 lead in the second, but Federer broke straight back with a brilliant passing shot down the line and confidently held to love to send the second set into a tiebreaker.

    Federer loses way

    One sloppy backhand from Federer allowed Wawrinka to move 2-0 ahead, and the Australian Open champion moved 4-1 up with a volley at the net.

    Federer saved two set points at 6-3 but Wawrinka levelled the match with a clinical smash after Federer had returned his serve a bit too high.

    With the third-seeded Wawrinka serving 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 the victory with a crisp forehand winner that landed on the line.

    The players, who are good friends, shared a warm hug at the net.

    It is the seventh title of the 29-year-old Wawrinka's career, and his third this year.

    The 32-year-old Swiss has lost three of his four finals this year, with the other defeats against Novak Djokovic at Indian Wells and to Lleyton Hewitt at Brisbane.

    The next two Masters events on clay are at Madrid and Rome leading up to the French Open, which starts on May 25.

    SOURCE: AP


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