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won the Monte Carlo Masters for
the first time yesterday, rallying
to beat Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6
(5), 6-2 in a rare all-Swiss final.
The Australian Open champion
had lost his previous two Masters
finals and looked like losing a third
until Federer s level dropped sud-
denly late in the second set, and
Wawrinka began troubling the 17-
time Grand Slam champion with
his aggressive backhand.
The fourth-seeded Federer, who
accepted a wild card invitation to
play in the tournament, was also
looking to win it for the first time
after losing his three previous finals
here to eight-time champion Rafael
Nadal from 2006-08.
Wawrinka has beaten Federer
only twice in 15 matches but both
victories have come here. He also
beat him in the third round in
"It s exceptional to be able to
win my first Masters title here,"
It was the first time that Federer
and Wawrinka met in a champi-
onship decider. In the last all-Swiss
final, Marc Rosset beat Federer in
Marseille in 2000.
"Stan was tougher at the end,
I think he deserved it just a little
bit more," Federer said. "It s a huge
win for him after winning his first
Grand Slam this year, also to win
his first Masters. To take the
opportunities when they re there,
that s key in a tennis player s
With the third-seeded Wawrin-
ka serving for the match, Federer
shouted in frustration as he missed
an easy forehand on second serve
at 15-15. On the next point, Fed-
erer s backhand went wide and
Wawrinka clinched the victory
with a crisp forehand winner that
landed on the line.
The players, who are good
friends, shared a warm hug at the
"I had a great week here," Federer
said. "Congratulations to Stan."
It is the seventh title of the 29-
year-old Wawrinka s career, and
his third this year. He lost his pre-
vious Masters finals at Madrid last
year and Rome in 2008.
Federer broke for a 3-2 lead
when Wawrinka s backhand long,
and served out the first set when
his countryman over-hit another
Wawrinka secured a break to
take a 2-0 lead in the second, but
Federer broke straight back with a
brilliant passing shot down the line
and confidently held to love to send
the second set into a tiebreaker.
But then he seemed to lose his
One sloppy backhand from Fed-
erer allowed Wawrinka to move 2-
0 ahead, and the Australian Open
champion moved 4-1 up with a
volley at the net.
Federer saved two set points at
6-3 but Wawrinka leveled the
match with a clinical smash after
Federer had returned his serve a
bit too high.
"I don t think I served quite so
well early on in the third set. I
think he really found his range and
started to hit bigger, deeper. He
didn t miss that many second-
serve returns anymore," Federer
said. "He gave me a couple cheap
points in the first couple sets which
he later on really didn t give me
Federer was seeking the 79th
title of his illustrious career, and
his 22nd Masters trophy. The 32-
year-old Swiss has lost three of
his four finals this year, with the
other defeats against Novak
Djokovic at Indian Wells and to
Lleyton Hewitt at Brisbane.
"You must see the positive side.
Try not to be disappointed or frus-
trated," Federer said. "What I see
is that if I m in that position again,
if I keep trying as I did, at a certain
point it s going to go my way. If
you feel good mentally, then things
are going to turn out good."
The next two Masters events on
clay are at Madrid and Rome lead-
ing up to the French Open, which
starts on May 25.
Lewis Hamilton captured his third
straight Formula One race with ease
yesterday, leading from start to fin-
ish to win the Chinese Grand Prix.
Mercedes showed again that it s
in a different class from its rivals,
with Hamilton s teammate Nico Ros-
berg taking second place---the third
time in four races this season the
pair have finished one-two.
"This is a team on a roll, that s
for sure," Hamilton said. "I m going
to be working hard, we re going to
keep working hard because obviously
the others are pushing to catch us."
Ferrari s Fernando Alonso held off
fast-charging Red Bull driver Daniel
Ricciardo to finish third and give his
team its first podium finish of the
year, with new team principal Marco
Mattiacci watching from the garage.
Ricciardo was fourth, finishing
one place ahead of teammate Sebas-
tian Vettel after the four-time
defending world champion was
asked by his team to allow the faster
Ricciardo to pass for the second race
in a row.
Hamilton s win gave him his first
career hat trick following his victories
in Malaysia and Bahrain. The Briton
may have even had a fourth win this
season but was forced to retire in
the season-opener in Australia after
starting from pole position due to
With the win, he inched closer to
his teammate s lead in the drivers
championship with 75 points, just
four behind Rosberg.
Hamilton, who moved one ahead
of Jim Clark for most poles by a
British driver with the 34th of his
career in Shanghai, was cruising so
comfortably at the end of Sunday s
race that he wasn t even rattled when
the checkered flag was mistakenly
shown a lap too soon, at the end of
"That was very strange. I was
thinking, Am I seeing things? I
looked up, I was coming across the
line expecting to do another lap and,
all of a sudden, I looked for a split
second and I saw the flag," he said.
According to F1 regulations, if the
checkered flag is shown early, the
official end of the race will be the
lap before it was shown. On Sunday,
that meant the end of lap 54.
The only racers this affected were
Caterham s Kamui Kobayashi and
Marussia s Jules Bianchi. Kobayashi
had passed the Frenchman on their
final lap for 17th place, but their
places were reversed in the official
Hamilton was so far ahead for
much of the race, his rivals were left
to battle for second best.
Rosberg, expected to challenge
Hamilton in Shanghai after the pair s
incredibly tight duel in Bahrain,
started fourth on the grid and was
forced to play catch-up after a slow
start immediately dropped him back
The German methodically tracked
down the two Red Bulls and finally
passed Alonso on the back straight
of the 43rd lap, the Ferrari unable
to match the speed of the Mercedes.
Rosberg then set his sights on
Hamilton but he was by that point
too far ahead, finishing nearly 19
seconds clear of the German.
"We have the best car," Rosberg
said. "But I was back there, so then
catching up was nice with this fast
car. It s a good weapon."
dominated on the opening day of
the NBA playoffs Saturday, with
Atlanta pulling off the biggest
upset with victory at Eastern Con-
ference top seed Indiana.
The Pacers had been expected to
be too strong for a Hawks team that
had lost its previous eight playoff
games, but Jeff Teague led Atlanta
to an important victory.
Golden State won away in a tight
game against the Los Angeles Clip-
pers, whose chances were hurt by
having Blake Griffin and Chris Paul
in foul trouble.
Brooklyn won by seven points at
Toronto but the margin could have
been far wider had the Nets not
been so off-target with their 3-point
The only home-court winner of
the day was Oklahoma City, with
Kevin Durant guiding the Thunder
to a comfortable win over Mem-
Atlanta s Teague scored a playoff
career-high 28 points and Paul Mill-
sap added in the Hawks surprise
win. Indiana, which spent the whole
season working to get home-court
advantage in the playoffs, wasted
no time in giving it right back with
a dismal third quarter.
Atlanta opened the third quarter
on an 8-0 run, breaking a 50-50
tie, then pulled away when Teague
scored nine points in a 14-0 run
that made it 74-58 with 4:08 left
in the quarter.
Indiana couldn t get closer than
eight the rest of the way despite 24
points and 10 rebounds from Paul
George. Golden State also produced
a strong third quarter in the 109-
105 win at the Clippers.
Klay Thompson scored 22 points
and David Lee added 20 for the
Warriors, who trailed by 11 points
early but capitalized in the third as
Griffin and Paul were benched due
to accumulating foul numbers.
Paul led the Clippers with 28
points and JJ Redick added 22 points
in 30 minutes for Los Angeles but
Griffin finished with 16 points after
fouling out with 48 seconds left and
the scores tied.
Foul trouble plagued both teams,
but losing Griffin and Paul for
stretches cost the Clippers at both
ends. For the Warriors, Andre Iguo-
dala fouled out with 3:04 left in the
game and Lee played with four fouls.
Brooklyn s Deron Williams and
Joe Johnson each scored 24 points
as the Nets won 94-87 at Toronto,
while Paul Pierce scored nine of his
15 points in the final quarter to guide
the visitors to victory.
Hamilton completes hat-trick in Shanghai
Wawrinka stuns Federer
in Monte Carlo Masters
Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland holds his trophy after defeating
Roger Federer of Switzerland in their final match at the Monte Carlo
Tennis Masters tournament, in Monaco, yesterday. Wawrinka won 4-6,
7-6, 6-2. AP PHOTO
Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry is fouled as he drives between Brooklyn Nets'
Joe Johnson, left, and Alan Anderson during the first half of Game 1 of an
opening-round NBA basketball playoff series, in Toronto on Saturday.
Road teams thrive on
opening day of playoffs
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