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Wawrinka reaches third Masters 1000 final
ROLEX MONTE-CARLO MASTERS 2018
Stanislas Wawrinka is one win away from capturing his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title after defeating David Ferrer 6-1, 7-6(3) on Saturday to reach the final of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.
The Swiss claimed his 100th Masters 1000 win as he set a blockbuster final against three-time finalist Roger Federer. Wawrinka will look to overturn a 1-13 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against his fellow Swiss, but his one win did come on the clay at the Monte-Carlo Country Club in 2009.
Wawrinka has twice before contested an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final, finishing runner-up in Rome in 2008 (l. to Djokovic) and in Madrid last year (l. to Nadal).
The 29-year-old Wawrinka claimed his first Grand Slam championship at the start of the year at the Australian Open (d. Nadal) and has compiled a 19-3 match record this season, also including victory in Chennai (d. Roger-Vasselin).
In a match dominated by Wawrinka, the third-seeded Swiss hit 40 winners to 31 unforced errors, claiming victory in one hour and 29 minutes. With Wawrinka hardly missing the target in the first set, it took Ferrer 29 minutes to get on the scoreboard at 5-1. Ferrer stayed with Wawrinka in the second set, but the Swiss quickly ran out to a 4-0 lead in the tie-break and converted his second match point at 6-3 as the Spaniard netted a backhand.
“I’m not surprised with my game or the way I’m playing,” said Wawrinka. “Today was a little bit slower. It was a little bit windy at the beginning. It was important to move well, be aggressive. That was my plan. I started really well. I know when I’m moving well and I can dictate the game, I’m always good against him. I did a really good job, especially at the beginning.”
Ferrer had earned his place in the semi-final after ending a 17-match losing streak against Rafael Nadal on clay on Friday. The Spaniard was bidding to reach the final at the Monte-Carlo Country Club for the second time, having finished runner-up to Nadal in 2011.
“He started playing unbelievable,” said Ferrer. “I didn’t have any option to stop him. I didn’t return serve very well. In the second set, he made a few more mistakes. I played with more power on my forehand. But, anyway, Stan was better. All the time he moved the ball better than me.”