ThrowbackTimes Monte Carlo: Roger Federer loses historic final to Stan Wawrinka
Stan Wawrinka was a happy camper in the opening months of the 2014 season, conquering his first Major title at the Australian Open and advancing into the third Masters 1000 final in Monte Carlo. His previous Masters 1000 title matches came in Rome 2008 versus Novak Djokovic and Madrid 2013 against Rafael Nadal, challenging the remaining legend from the 'big 3' group in his third different final of the clay Masters 1000 event.
In the first all-Swiss title match at this level, Stan faced his compatriot Roger Federer and beat him 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in two hours and 14 minutes to become the Masters 1000 champion for the first time, earning his second victory in 15 encounters against Roger!
The more experienced Swiss ousted an injured Novak Djokovic in the semis, advancing into the fourth Monte Carlo final and the first since 2008 when he lost the third straight title match to Rafael Nadal. Despite giving his best in sets one and two, Roger stayed empty-handed in the Principality once again, losing ground in the decider to propel Wawrinka towards the first crown at the premium series of the ATP events.
Stan won eight points more than Roger, getting broken twice from only three chances offered to the rival and delivering three breaks from seven opportunities to have the upper hand in the decider and cross the finish line first.
The younger Swiss tamed his strokes more efficiently to hit the same number of winners and unforced errors, while Roger had almost twice as many mistakes as winners, trailing to Stan in the mid-range and more extended exchanges to finish on the losing side.
Stan forced Roger's error in the first game to fight off a break chance before Federer closed the second with a perfect volley winner to get his name on the scoreboard. Wawrinka wasted his return opportunity in the fourth game before sending a backhand wide in the next one to fall 3-2 behind.
Stan Wawrinka defeated Roger Federer in the title match in Monte Carlo 2014.
Federer confirmed the break with a service winner and hit another for a comfortable hold and a 5-3 advantage. Serving for the set at 5-4, Roger placed two service winners to wrap up the opener in 42 minutes, moving a set away from the first Monte Carlo crown.
Wawrinka bounced back with a break in the second set's second game, only to suffer a break at love a few minutes later following Roger's perfect backhand down the line winner that got him back to the positive side of the scoreboard.
Federer saved break opportunities in the next game to level the score at 2-2, with eight commanding holds after that to set a tie break, a must-win one for Wawrinka. The more experienced Swiss stayed in touch with a volley winner at 2-4, but Stan wasn't to be denied, closing the breaker at 6-5 with a smash winner to force a decider and stay on the track for the first Masters 1000 title.
With momentum on his side, Stan grabbed a break in the final set's first game and held at 15 to confirm it, pushing hard and securing another return game with a forehand winner to go 3-0 up. A service winner sent the Australian Open champion further in front, landing four winners in the sixth game and an additional three at 5-2 to seal the deal and become the Masters 1000 champion following a picture-perfect forehand crosscourt winner.