The loss means next week Federer, who is not playing at Monte Carlo, will regain the No. 2 ATP ranking.
Murray went into Monte Carlo as the favorite to challenge No. 5 Rafael Nadal. The Olympic Gold Medalist and 2012 U.S. Open winner had come off a comeback win in the finals of the Sony Open in Miami. That win moved him ahead of Federer.
Then Murray arrived in Monte Carlo talking about adding the French Open to his growing list of titles.
But the Scot won just three games against Wawrinka. Murray admitted “I need to do a lot of work,” in a post-match press conference.
Wawrinka moves on to face No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who defeated Jurgen Melzer, 6-3, 6-0.
Federer and Wawrinka have teamed up several times to represent their country in doubles. This assist from Wawrinka could help Federer grab the No. 2 seeding at the French Open.
Federer skipped the Sony Open in Miami as well. But because he lost in the third round to Andy Roddick in 2012, Federer only lost 45 points. However he must defend his title in Madrid.
Will Roger Federer Secure the No. 2 Seed at the French Open?
Meanwhile clay-court king Nadal must defend his title in Monte Carlo, as well as Barcelona and Rome.
Even if Nadal wins all three of those tournaments, he still may not overtake No. 4 David Ferrer , who withdrew from Monte Carlo. Nadal trails Ferrer by 585 points and may need his countryman to stumble to secure a Top-4 ranking.
The No. 2 seed could help Federer avoid facing Nadal in an early round at the French Open, like he did in Indian Wells.
Federer needs solid performances in Madrid and Rome to maintain his fragile points edge over Murray.
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