But with Del Potro looking decidedly leg weary from his marathon efforts in recent weeks that have seen him win 15 out of his last 16 matches, Federer was in commanding form from the start.
The 32-year-old powered on to take another step towards what would be a 22nd career Masters title, and only his second in Paris after that of 2011.
Earlier, second seed Novak Djokovic got off to the perfect start with a break in the second game to lead 3-0 and he wrapped up the first set at 6-1 after just 26 minutes with Wawrinka struggling to find his range.
Murray to withdraw?Johannesburg: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray has said that he will only compete in Australian Open if he feels he has a major chance of winning it. He is now working his way back to full fitness, but said that he will not cut any corners in his preparations for the slam.