Wawrinka rains Monte Carlo misery down on Federer

MONTE CARLO: Roger Federer was free to enjoy the rest of his honeymoon Thursday after being knocked out of the rain-lashed Monte Carlo Masters by compatriot, and Olympic gold medal-winning partner, Stanislas Wawrinka.

World number two Federer, without a title in 2009 and desperately short of form and confidence, went down 6-4, 7-5 to the 13th seed in the third round.

It was Wawrinka''s first victory in three attempts over the 13-time Grand Slam title winner who had lost the last three finals here to Rafael Nadal.

"My forehand was hurting me in the beginning. I was making a few too many errors," said a subdued Federer after a day when start of play had been delayed by five hours because of heavy rain.

The defeat in just under two hours was Federer''s earliest on clay since the French Open third round in 2004 against Gustavo Kuerten. He now has a week to prepare for the Rome Masters and said he will concentrate on whipping his serve into decent shape.

Federer had originally decided to skip this event, but accepted a late wildcard in the hope of finding his claycourt game in the run-up to the French Open.

Top seed Nadal was taking on Ecuador qualifier Nicolas Lapentti later Thursday, but his third round tie was delayed as the skies opened with a thunder and hailstorm only minutes after Federer and Wawrinka had left the show court.

Wawrinka will line up against Beck after earning what he called the best win of his career.