German tennis player Angelique Kerber managed to clinch the title of the Aegon Classic tournament in Birmingham after beating Czech opponent Karolina Pliskova in three sets on Sunday’s final, score 6-7, 6-3, 7-6.
The German player, who started the tournament as fourth seed, won her sixth WTA title of her career, but she faced a hard struggle against the 23-year old Czech. Pliskova, ranked 12th on the WTA table before the tournament, hit 51 winners during the match and was two points away from victory in third set.
The match, which lasted more than two hours, was filled with twists as both players constantly found energy and willpower necessary to counter each other’s blows. The first set seemed to be head in Kerber’s way, only for Pliskova – the no. 6 seed of the tournament – to force it into a tie-break which she won 7-5.
The German world no.10 replied by winning the second set 6-3, and also having break advantage in the third set at 5-3. Pliskova mounted another comeback by winning three games in a row and looked determined to win a fourth and end the game, but a composed Kerber managed to hold her serve with an ace and then looked to be the better player in the decisive tie-break, which she won with 7-4.
This is Angelique Kerber’s third win of a premier level WTA tournament during 2015, after her previous April wins at Charleton and Stuttgart. She became the only other player to achieve this feat in 2015 alongside world leader Serena Williams, winner of both the Australian Open and Roland Garros this year.
On the other side, Pliskova failed to win her first premier level tournament in her WTA career, during which all of her five title were ones at tournaments rated as internationals. Her previous premium finals defeated also came this year, as she was defeated by world no.3 Simona Hale at Dubai. The Czech’s only WTA tournament win this year happened last month at the Prague Open, where she defeated fellow countrywoman Lucie Hradecka.
The tournament, which is historically known as the Birmingham Classic, is one the major warm-up tournaments before Wimbledon and was won during the years by the likes of Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King or Jelena Dokic. The Wimbledon Championships are set to start on the 29th of June, with Kerber’s great form indicating she might able to equal or even surpass her previous best performance consisting of semifinals in 2012.
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