Angelique Kerber survived both comebacks of Karolina Pliskova, one in the first and one in the third set, and won the close final of the Aegon Classic Birmingham 6-7(5) 6-3 7-6(4) for her sixth career title and third this season.
Kerber was in charge through most of the first set, but it’s of no use if you don’t capitalize on it. In the opening game the German already scored a break on her third break point and kept that advantage all the way to 5-3 40-0. Pliskova, however, didn’t give up, saved four set points, held her serve, then broke Kerber to level to 5-5 and managed to win the tiebreak that followed.
When Pliskova broke Kerber at the start of the second set, it seemed that the momentum had shifted, but Kerber didn’t allow herself to melt away and broke Pliskova back right away. Additional break by Kerber in the fourth game, for 3-1, ensured the continuation of the battle in the third set.
The decider started with Kerber’s dominance, as the world No.10 established a 3-1 lead and even served for the match at 5-4, but Pliskova brought the threat back, broke Kerber for 5-5 and forced a tiebreak yet again. This time, however, Kerber took firm hold of the tiebreak and from 4-4 won all the points, capitalizing on her first match point which has brought her $124,000 in prize money.
Kerber’s winning apparel: the Adidas Spring All Premium Tank in flash orange with striped mesh around the neckline and upper back and the matching Adidas Spring All Premium Skirt.
I hope you enjoyed our coverage of the Aegon Classic Birmingham, for which I should especially thank my photographer Jimmie48, who is now already in Eastbourne and yesterday he photographed the big return of Laura Robson. Do have a look once again at all of our Birmingham galleries: