Federer, Wawrinka set up all Swiss final

Federer, Wawrinka set up all Swiss final

Roger Federer beat an injured Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-2 to set up an all-Swiss Monte Carlo Masters final with Stanislas Wawrinka after the Australian Open champion ousted David Ferrer 6-1, 7-6 (7-3) on Saturday.

Holder Djokovic resisted for one set before pain in his right wrist was just too much to bear for the second-seeded Serb who bowed out on the first match point after one hour 14 minutes.

The much-awaited clash lived up to expectations early on, with 17-times Grand Slam champion Federer saving two set points on serve at 5-4.

Federer, who has never won the Monte Carlo Masters, broke in the following game and pocketed the set with an ace before Djokovic went to his chair holding his right wrist.

The second set was a stroll for the Swiss who produced a series of forehand winners as he moved 18-16 up in his head-to-head record against Djokovic.

Earlier, third seed Wawrinka showed no mercy against the giant-killing Ferrer.

The Swiss raced through the first set and kept his composure in the second when the Spaniard raised his level. Sixth seed Ferrer, who knocked out eight-times French Open champion and world number one Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals on Friday, was on the back foot throughout.

"It was the perfect start for me. I played very well in spite of the wind," Wawrinka told Canal Plus TV.

"He changed tactics in the second set, being more aggressive, and I became more hesitant but I played tougher then."

Wawrinka quickly opened a 5-0 lead after breaking twice with a passing shot and a forehand return winner.

The Swiss, looking to win his first Masters 1000 title, sealed the opening set with a stunning backhand winner down the line.

The Swiss lost the Rome Masters final to Djokovic in 2008 and went down to Nadal in a Madrid Masters title bid last May. Wawrinka improved to 19-3 on the season and has relegated his post-Australian slump where he lost early in both Indian Wells and Miami to ancient history.

Ferrer saved a break point in the opening game of the second set but Wawrinka, whose 31 winners made up for 40 unforced errors, accelerated again in the tiebreak and prevailed on his second match point when his opponent netted a backhand. 

The Swiss had not faced a break point until this meeting with Ferrer, improving his record in the series with the Spaniard to six wins against seven losses.

“Stan was very good, he was playing unbelievable,” said Ferrer, who trailed 5-0 in the first set.

“I didn’t return very well, but in the second Stan had a few mistakes and I was able to play with more power with my forehand.

“But Stan was better, and he moved the ball better than me.” The win marked the 100th for Wawrinka in a Masters 1000 and left him with a 15-6 Monte Carlo record from seven appearances. 

Germany ahead

In the semifinals of the Fed Cup, Germany leads Australia 2-0 at Brisbane, while Czech Republic are ahead of Italy by the same scoreline at Ostrava.

After Petra Kvitova beat Camila Giorgi 6-4, 6-2 to put the Czechs in front, Lucie Safarova doubled their advantage after her victory over Sara Errani 6-4, 6-1.

For the Germans Angelique Kerber got the better off Casey Dellacqua 6-1, 6-0, while Andrea Petkovic downed Samantha Stosur 6-1, 7-6 (7-1).

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