Kerber in first grass court title as Pliskova edged out

Great Britain's Naomi Broady in action against the USA's Sloane Stephens.
Great Britain's Naomi Broady in action against the USA's Sloane Stephens.
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Angelique Kerber celebrated her third WTA title of the year, edging Karolina Pliskova in three sets at Birmingham’s Aegon Classic.

The German, seeded fourth, followed up victories in Charleston and Stuttgart with a 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 7-6 (7/4) win for her sixth career success.

The pair were on court for two hours and 16 minutes as they ground out a hard-fought contest, during which Pliskova saved 12 of 16 break points.

Speaking afterwards, Kerber thanked the local support for seeing her to a maiden title on grass.

“I think this one is really special for me because it’s the first title on grass for me, and here in Birmingham I had a great week. Everybody is so friendly. And the fans on the centre court, was amazing to play with the support,” he said.

“So it feels very good. I’m really proud about my game.”

There will be no resting up before Wimbledon for Kerber, though, with the 27-year-old heading to Eastbourne today - part of a deliberate plan to get herself ready for the All-England Club.

“I don’t have a lot of expectation here. I mean, I came here to have a lot of matches before Wimbledon. That’s also my goal in Eastbourne; going there and have like few more matches,” she said.

“Let’s see how many, and then going to Wimbledon with a lot of confidence.

“So that’s my goal.”

Laura Robson has received a single’s wildcard for Wimbledon, tournament organisers have announced.

The 21-year-old played in first match in 17 months following a wrist injury in Eastbourne on Saturday, losing 6-0 6-1 to Daria Gavrilova.

Robson reached the fourth round on her last appearance at the All England Club in 2013.

Great Britain’s Johanna Konta scored an upset in the first round at the Aegon International at Eastbourne, defeating Zarina Diyas in straight sets.

Konta, the British No 2, beat her Kazakh opponent 6-3 6-2 to make good on her wildcard and overturn a ranking difference in 105 places against the world No 34.

Konta’s fellow Briton Naomi Broady did not join her in the second round but did take American Sloane Stephens three sets in a 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7/4) defeat.