Kerber rallies to beat Pliskova in WTA Birmingham final

The victory will make Kerber an outside bet for glory at Wimbledon - all the more so considering that she has made the semi-finals at SW19 in the past.

Germany's Angelique Kerber kisses the Aegon Trophy after beating Czech's Karolina Pliskova 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 during the Birmingham Classic Women's Singles Final at the Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, England, Sunday, June 21, 2015. "Her flat shots are tough to play against as well".

"This gives me a lot of confidence", Kerber told BBC Sport.

A visibly frustrated Kerber could have been forgiven for feeling déjà vu when the same story repeated itself as she served for the title in the final set - and for letting her mind drift back to all those heartbreaking final losses.

German Kerber squandered four set points before losing the opener and faltered again when serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set before steadying herself to take the title.

But Kerber dominated for the next hour, patiently constructing winning rallies and creating two breaks in the second set with another in the third.

Kerber held serve to recover from 5-6 down in the decider, and in the tiebreaker took her chance of a mini-break on the ninth point. The Czech put in 68% of her first serves and won a similar percentage of points off them, while the German put in 76% of her first serves and won 70% points off them.

Pliskova admitted that she couldn’t really be disappointed, having done everything possible to win. "We all saw what she can do on grass - I felt like she was just everywhere, because she moves so well on grass, and it's always tough to play a lefty on grass".

The Czech had 51 winners to Kerber’s 34, but she also had thrice as many unforced errors as her opponent - 42 to 14. The significant differentiators between the two players in terms of statistics were their respective winners’ and unforced errors’ count.


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