The Spaniard broke at the first time of asking in the opener, but encountered early resistance as his opponent hit back immediately for 2-1.
Ferrer steadied the ship with a dominant service game for 3-2, then broke again to extend his advantage and go on to take the set 6-2.
Both played some spectacular tennis in an evenly-matched second, and it was Wawrinka who first gained a foothold when he broke for 4-3 thanks to an unforced error from the world number five.
The Swiss held steady to take the second set, but Ferrer raised his game in the decider.
A majestic cross-court smash saw him break for 2-0 and he held tight for the remainder, breaking to love in the decisive game to wrap up the final set 6-2.