The Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters title was won on Sunday by No. 3 on the Emirates ATP rankings, Stanislas Wawrinka. Failing to Navok Djokovic in Rome in 2008 and Rafael Nadal in Madrid in 2013, it was Wawrinka’s time to shine. After a rough start, Wawrinka defeated Swiss countryman Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6(5), and 6-2, securing his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy. In their 15 meetings, 29 year old Wawrinka has only attained victory over Federer once previously.
The face-off at Monte-Carlo with Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka. (credit: disputas.it)
The pressure was high. The Monte-Carlo Country Club, the setting of the match, was filled with spectators, including celebrity guests like Prince Alber of Monaco and Tommy Hilfiger. In the first set, Federer applied immediate pressure, earning a break point. Wawrinka had 11 winners and 17 unforced errors in the first set. Despite this, Federer walked away as the victor of an intense first set.
Wawrinka explained that to gain the advantage he made small adjustments, including playing more aggressively in an attempt to push his opponent more. His method seemed to work, as the turning point came with a second-set tie-breaker. Wawrinka maintained his composure and focus, minimizing his errors and forcing Federer to push.
Using the momentum he gained from winning the second set, Wawrinka continued to dominate in the third. Wawrinka’s surge of energy and confidence led to efficiently attacking Federer’s serve and breaking immediately for the early lead.
As Federer’s aggressiveness depleted, Wawrinka’s increased. He pressed for a second break, which he secured with a remarkable angle-abusing cross-court backhand. That particular striking, which had abandoned him in the early stages of the game, proved its worth in his increasingly aggressive playing. This aggressive playing resulted in a 4-0 lead.
After finishing as runner-up to Nadal three times from 2006 to 2008, 32 year old Federer must have been looking to win the elusive Monte-Carlo trophy for the first time. Despite his loss, the Swiss has won 21 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, with his last win in Cincinnati in August 2012.
The match, lasting 2 hours and 13 minutes, secured Wawrinka’s first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title. As the victor, Wawrinka received 1000 Emirates ATP Ranking points and $549,000 in prize money. He was presented with the trophy by Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene of Monaco. With the conclusion of the match, Wawarinka maintains his No. 3 ranking, while Federer remains at No. 4.