April 20, 2014
You might have thought he had already done it all. But Roger Federer was desperate to take his maiden Monte-Carlo title by beating his friend and fellow Swiss, Stanislas Wawrinka. For a while it looked more than possible – until Stan The Man finally found his best game and started to display his own impeccable brand of Swiss timing. What followed was something akin to tennis carnage, as a rampant Wawrinka romped through the third set to take the title 4-6, 7-6, 6-2.
Yet the quality of the tennis we witnessed, first from the master and then from his apprentice, reminded us how blessed Switzerland is to be able to boast two of the world’s true greats right now. For a while, Federer’s catapult-backhand proved irresistible, as Stan struggled to summon enough early composure to compete. Super-cool Roger kept the younger man guessing with a wonderful array of serves throughout a one-sided first set. But his focus and energy drained away after being edged out of the second-set tie-break.
From that point on, Wawrinka launched one rocket after another until the Swiss showdown was finally over. Despite going into the final with a 13-1 head-to-head advantage, Federer had fallen behind Wawrinka in the world rankings. Increasingly the new order began to show, as the Swiss number one and Australian Open champion took control.
Wawrinka had made 17 unforced errors in the first set. But with 18 unforced errors of his own in the second, Federer showed that he too is human, with the clock starting to tick on the peak years of his glorious career. Wawrinka showed enough tenacity to take the big points in the breaker, then simply steamrollered a compatriot he had previously held in awe.
No one can say Super Stan isn’t a serious contender for any Grand Slam event now. He is threatening to join the elite, top table, inhabited by the likes of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
Meanwhile Roger showed in Monte-Carlo that he isn’t ready to leave such revered company just yet either.
Want to see Switzerland’s wonderful world-beaters. take on the rest at Wimbledon? Click on the following link and book your place for the greatest show on earth this summer…