Wawrinka fights back to beat Federer in Monte Carlo final

Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:39pm EDT
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MONTE CARLO (Reuters) - Stanislas Wawrinka signaled his French Open ambitions by beating Roger Federer 4-6 7-6 (5) 6-2 in an all-Swiss Monte Carlo Masters final on Sunday.

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 so strong.

"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 for years."

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 opponent's power.

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," Federer said.   Continued...

Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland celebrates after winning the final match against his compatriot Roger Federer at the Monte Carlo Masters in Monaco April 20, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard