Roger Federer had set up an all-Swiss encounter with Stanislas Wawrinka in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters, by defeating defending champion Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-2 in the semifinals on Saturday.
This is the fourth Monte Carlo final that Federer has made it to, after having finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Against Wawrinka, Federer leads 13-1 in career head-to-head but his only loss came in the Monte Carlo Masters, back in 2009.
"For me it comes as a bit of a surprise to be in the finals again of a tournament this year, especially the first one on clay. But, of course, I'll take it," Federer said. "I feel like I have put in the performance to be there, gave myself the opportunity this week. So I'm very happy with my play.
"Now I set up the dream finals for Stan and myself and Swiss tennis and the Swiss fans. It's very exciting times right now."
This is the first time since 2000 [when Marc Rosset defeated Federer in Marseille] that there has been an all-Swiss ATP World tour final. If Federer is looking to earn his 22nd Masters 1000 title, Wawrinka is hoping for his first.
"I think it's incredible that we are in the finals together, the same week we've been playing well for some time now. That we're able to have this moment together on a centre court, it's so rare," Federer pointed out.
Wawrinka, the Australian Open champion, defeated Spain's David Ferrer in straight sets to reach the final. Meanwhile Federer slowly and convincingly reached the final by ending Djokovic's bid for a fifth successive ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title.
The 32-year-old Swiss will move ahead of his Davis Cup teammate Wawrinka, if he manages a victory on Sunday.
"This one is clearly very special, the number of hours we spent together on court either playing doubles or practising, the times we've talked tennis," Federer said ahead of his title clash. "It's nice living a moment like this together in a final. It's really wonderful. So from that standpoint, I think it's going to be a great day."
If Federer adds Monte Carlo to his collection, there will only be Rome and Shanghai left to be conquered in his illustrious career.
Where to Watch Live
Federer vs Wawrinka final starts at 3.00 pm local time; 6.30 pm IST. Global viewers can stream the live action HERE and HERE. In India, the live coverage will be on Ten Sports, whereas in the US and Australia, ESPN will broadcast it. To watch the action live online, click HERE.