Stanislas Wawrinka edges Roger Federer for Monte Carlo crown

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Monte Carlo, Monaco (4E Sports) – World No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Roger Federer, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2, in an all-Swiss final at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters Sunday for his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title.

With the victory, the 29-year-old Wawrinka became the 59th different winner of an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, breaking up the domination of the “Big Four”.

In 34 of the past 36 Masters 1000 tournaments, the trophy had been lifted by one of either Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Federer or Andy Murray. The only exceptions came at the BNP Paribas Masters in 2010 (Robin Soderling) and 2012 (David Ferrer).

“It’s always special to play Roger,” said Wawrinka. “We know it’s always a strange match, especially being in the final here. He’s my best friend on the tour. We respect each other so much. I’m just trying on the court to win the match.”

The win was just Wawrinka’s second in 15 meetings with Federer. His other victory over Federer also came at the Monte-Carlo Country Club, five years ago.

“Of course, I’m very happy for Stan,” said Federer. “It’s a huge win for him after winning his first Grand Slam this year, also to win his first Masters 1000. To take the opportunities when they’re there, that’s key in a tennis player’s career.”

The win gave Wawrinka 1000 ATP Ranking points and $549,000 in prize money. He was presented with the trophy by His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene of Monaco.

The win will also vault Wawrinka to No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Race To London, which is based solely on results this season, passing Nadal, Djokovic and Federer.

The top eight in the Emirates ATP Race To London at the end of the regular season will qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Wawrinka qualified for the elite season finale for the first time last year, reaching the semifinals.

The 32-year-old Federer was looking to win the elusive Monte-Carlo trophy for the first time after finishing runner-up to Nadal three times from 2006-2008. The Swiss has won 21 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, with his last triumph coming in August 2012 in Cincinnati.

On the women’s side, Donna Vekic captured her first WTA title with a 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) win over top seed Dominika Cibulkova in the Malaysian Open final.

The 17-year-old Vekic, the youngest player in the main draw, fired 11 aces in a match that lasted nearly three hours and was suspended in the first set due to rain.

Vekic played in her third final after runner-up finishes in Birmingham last year and Tashkent in 2012.

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