Britain's Andy Murray in action against Dominic Thiem of Austria.
Former world number one Murray, rebuilding his game after career-saving hip surgery earlier this year, fought back from a set and 3-1 down against Wawrinka to claim his 46th career title.
After appearing to struggle with a right elbow issue, Murray was pleased with his overall display.
Murray has an 11-8 career edge against fellow three-time Grand Slam victor Wawrinka.
Fellow Grand Slam champion Wawrinka, who has also had a number of recent injury issues, said: "To see you back at this level, it's unbelievable. I certainly didn't expect it to come so soon since I started playing again", Murray told Amazon Prime.
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"Me and Stan have played a lot against each other". It was tough. He was playing huge from the back of the court... it was tricky but I am obviously happy to be back in a final.
With Wawrinka serving to stay in the match, Murray brought up championship point after nearly two and a half hours and wrapped up his first title since Dubai in 2017 when his opponent strayed wide.
The two-time Wimbledon champion converted the second and served out, securing victory with an ace, to reach his first semi-final since the French Open in 2017.
Sinner, who was ranked 778 this time past year, can make the world top 100 next week. It's unbelievable to be back, playing against him in the final like that.