The All-Swiss final encounter at the Monte Carlo Masters saw Stanislas Wawrinka beat Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 in a close match on clay to claim his maiden Masters 1000 title.
Three titles of the career seven have come this year alone for Wawrinka including the Australian Open Grand Slam crown and a title in Chennai. He holds a brilliant 6-0 record against Top 10 competitors this season. Wawrinka also bettered his career record against Federer to 2-13 - both wins have come on the lucky clay of Monte Carlo.
"It's always special to play Roger," Wawrinka said after the win. "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. Before and after, we are still very good friends. During the match, we just try everything to win. Today I'm really happy to take that one."
"I can see that when mentally I'm there and I'm fighting, I can play tennis, I can beat all the players. I did an amazing job. I'm really happy after winning my first Grand Slam, to win a Masters 1000 so quick. I didn't expect to. When I came here, for me it was more like a test. I knew I was playing good tennis, but I didn't expect to win because the draw was so strong."
The Lausanne native took home $549,000 in prize money and will remain on No. 3 in rankings. Federer, on the other hand, hasn't enjoyed the best of runs in Monte Carlo, as he had earlier finished runner up to Rafael Nadal in 2006, '07 and '08.
"Of course, I'm very happy for Stan," Federer said while talking about his Davis Cup teammate. "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. So I'm very happy for him."
"I would have loved to have won a second title [this season] because I've come close a few times. That's my next objective, that I get to the very end more frequently. But clearly I'm happy that the clay court season started so well for me."