Sunday, April 20, 2014

2014 MONTE CARLO: Wawrinka Beats Federer in 3 Sets To Win 1st Masters Title

World #3 Stanislas Wawrinka confirmed his ascendancy into the elite of men's tennis by defeating Roger Federer 4-6 7-6(5) 6-2 in the finals of the 2014 ATP Monte Carlo Masters, becoming the first player on the ATP Tour to win 3 titles this year (Chennai and Melbourne). It was Wawrinka's 1st Masters 1000 title in 3 finals, and more importantly, his 2nd win in 15 meetings against Federer, both of which have occurred in Monte Carlo. To put this win in perspective, Wawrinka has only won 7 ATP tour titles (and is 7-9 in finals overall). Federer has won 78 (and is now 78-39 in tour finals).

Because he won (somewhat surprisingly, but Wawrinka has been surprising everyone all year) Wawrinka will retain the World #3 ranking and is actually at #1 in the ATP Emirates race to London at this moment. In other words, if he maintains this level of play all year long, he could become #1 at the end of the year. He is 6-0 against fellow Top 10 opponents this year, and 17-3 in matches played for the year.

Federer has now lost in the final of Monte Carlo four times (2006-2008 to Rafael Nadal) and has yet to win this title. He will remain at World #4 and leads the tour in number of match wins in 2004 (24-5 record).

Federer started well breaking serve in the 5th game and managing to nurse the break to a 6-4 first set win. In the second set he was broken in his first service game but broke back and held serve until a tiebreak. He fell behind 1-4 in the tiebreak and 3-6 but saved two set points before losing the tiebreaker 7-5. The third set was a disaster for Federer as his level dropped and Wawrinka's went up, going up 4-0 and 5-1 before closing out the third set 6-2. The stats tell the story.

The next big clay court Master's title is in Madrid, starting next weekend.

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