Not the fairytale end Fed fans wanted as Wawrinka cemented his place as the Swiss Number 1 with a convincing 4-6 7-6(5) 6-2 victory at the Monte Carlo Masters.
I expected Fed to win this one comfortably but in a subdued final he made too many errors and looked flat throughout. Stan took full advantage and hit some meaty blows off both wings to run away the worthy winner.
Hard to say why Federer wasn't able to lift his level when he needed too but I think he was lacking a bit physically today. Slower out the corners and not able to dictate play with his groundstrokes. It reminded me a bit of the French Open 2010 match vs. Soderling, similar conditions against a similar player = same result.
The Tsonga match was a tough one which I thought Djokovic would be able to exploit by lengthening the rallies. Of course he couldn't but Stan was able to do just that winning the vast majority of rallies over 6/7 shots.
Quick Match Recap
Both players started this one slowly making sloppy erorrs and by the 5th game they had both saved break points. Roger was the first to capitalise on his opponents mistake as he broke then held for 4-2. Stan then had 0-30 at 4-3 but he made a succession of errors and Fed held for 5-3 before going onto serve out the set 6-4.
The second started poorly for the Swiss Number 2 as he was broken in his first game due to Stan hitting big. However he failed to consolidate as Roger broke straight back hitting a sweet passing shot in the process.
Both players then traded holds and aside from a number of 30 all type games and a minor rain delay the set was uneventful. In fact the highlight was probably Roger's love hold to force the tie break where he hit a sweet drop volley.
The tie break was ultimately one sided as Stan got himself an early minibreak and didn't lose a point on his serve en route to leveling the match by taking the breaker 7-5.
1 set all meant this was a total shootout and unfortunately Roger faded badly, falling down a double break giving Stan a 4-0 lead. Stan looked imperious on serve thereafter and he served it out to 15 with none of the nerves we saw from him in the Australian Open final.
|S. Wawrinka||R. Federer|
|1st Serve %||58%||67%|
|1st Serve Points Won||43/54 (80%)||51/69 (74%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||22/39 (56%)||15/34 (44%)|
|Break Points Saved||1/3 (33%)||4/7 (57%)|
|Service Games Played||15||15|
|1st Return Points Won||18/69 (26%)||11/54 (20%)|
|2nd Return Points Won||19/34 (56%)||17/39 (44%)|
|Break Points Won||3/7 (43%)||2/3 (67%)|
|Return Games Played||15||15|
|Net Points Won||19/30 (53%)||26/36 (72%)|
|Total Service Points Won||65/93 (70%)||66/103 (64%)|
|Total Return Points Won||37/103 (36%)||28/93 (30%)|
|Total Points Won||102/196 (52%)||94/196 (48%)|
Thoughts on the Match
Overall a good tournament but a little disappointing it resulted in another final loss. 3 times this year he's fallen at the final hurdle so it is looking like a bit of a habit. Hewitt, Djokovic and now Wawrinka.
I thought Fed would be fired up to try win his maiden Monte Carlo title but he looked anything but that today. No real impetus in his game and the only signs of life he showed were when he was shouting at the lines.
I don't think Stan was that fired up either though really, it was a bit like how I imagine a fight between the Klitschko brothers to be. More of a knock about with Stan winning the more important points.
Hard to pick a key moment in the match as the 2nd set felt like both guys were going through the motions. Stan reeled off some solid shots in the tie break to win it and the third set was a procession.
One break would have been recoverable but to lose your first 2 service games in a final set is setting yourself an impossible task. I'd be surprised if any player has come from 2 breaks down to win a final set in a final?! Graf once did it against Novotna in the Wimbledon final but on the men's side I doubt it has happened.
If you look at the Stats too, although not easy to separate them, it's clear Wawrinka played the cleaner match, after breaking back in the 2nd set Roger didn't see another break point come his way and his W:UE ratio needed flipping around for him to have a chance of winning.
Fair play to Stan though, he's beaten Nadal in slam final and now wins his first Masters 1000 title, so not the shock of the century to see him beat Fed on his best surface. It will be interesting to see how he does at Roland Garros now as he is a danger to anyone in the draw.
As for Roger, I am guessing he exceeded his own expectations by making the final but should be a little disappointed to miss ticking off another box on his resume. He didn't look too fussed in the trophy ceremony however so hard to really sum up how he was feeling. He never got invested in the match or summoned his best tennis to make me think he was going to put it all the line to win.
Like I said above it reminded me of the Soderling match at the French in 2010, the dull weather, wins the first set but then tails off and a similar flat performance. Having watched his post match presser he sounded very groggy, played a lot of tennis lately so could be one of the reasons. I'll predict this was his last appearance in Mickey Carlo 🙂
Next up is Madrid assuming Mirka doesn't give birth close to the start date and it's usually a good hunting ground for Roger. It's at altitude so plays much faster than most other clay courts on tour and should make good viewing. If only it was blue 😉