Greg Rusedski says Stanislas Wawrinka could end the year as 'shock' World No1 after beating Roger Federer in Monte Carlo.
Wawrinka sealed his maidan Masters title after coming from behind to beat his fellow countryman 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 in the first all-Swiss final in 14 years.
Former British No1, Greg Rusedski, told Sky Sports that the 29-year-old Australian Open winner is taking steps to being one of the best in the sport.
He said: "It was an excellent performance from Stanislas Wawrinka and he’s really cementing that he’s the real deal.
"He’s won his first major this year, he’s won his first Masters here in Monte Carlo and he takes the racket out of your hand; there’s nobody that hits as hard as Stan Wawrinka, he can just go through a tennis court.
"He’s Swiss No1 still and he could be a real shock, possibly, for finishing the year world No1 if he continues this sort of tennis.
"This was a massive win for him psychological because he’s always been in the shadows of Roger Federer; to beat him in a final was massive.
"He’s taking steps forward. To win his first major and his first Masters here in Monte Carlo against Federer will only give him confidence."
The win puts the World No3 in top spot in the ATP Race to London, and former US Open finalist Rusedski tipped Wawrinka for next month's French Open, along with eight-time winner Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic - who could miss the summer Grand Slams with a wrist injury.
"He’ll be one of the favourite for Roland Garros right now; he’s one of the few guys who you can see – along with Djokovic – who could possibly beat Nadal in a three out five match," added Rusedski.
"He has the same coach as a certain Robin Soderling - who is the only player to beat Nadal at the French Open - so it’s very exciting times right now for Stanislas Wawrinka."
Defeat for Federer meant it is now four failed attempts to win the principality's title and his second Masters final defeat in a row after losing to Djokovic in Indian Wells. But Rusedski insisted the 17-time Grand Slam winner will feel confident in his form heading in to the grass season.
"There’s nothing you can do against Wawrinka when he’s hitting it that well," Rusedski said.
"Federer had a slight lapse at 5-5 in that second set and Wawrinka just lifted and played with freedom in the final set; whereas as Roger stopped really attacking and lacked that variety out there.
"The thing that was disappointing for me in the Indian Wells finals and the Monte Carlo finals, was his lack of willingness to come forward in final set, use those slices, bring Stan in; just add that variety.
"He kind of goes back to his set plays of staying back and being comfortable on the back court and against the players like Wawrinka, Nadal and Djokovic you cannot afford to do that, you’re going to be second best.
"It was probably his best opportunity, having beaten Djokovic and Nadal being out of this, to finally win Monte Carlo.
"If you look at them on clay right now you’d probably say Wawrinka has to be the favourite but coming in to the grass season he has to be pretty confident if he continues to go forward."