Kerber triumphs in Birmingham

The German’s 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-4) win sets her up well for the Grand Slam starting in a week’s time and also prevented the Czech from taking over her place in the world’s top ten.

Pliskova has served 320 aces, more than any other woman this year, including 11 more here, but Kerber’s movement, tenacity, flat counter-hitting, and competitive nous managed to frustrate her dangerously improving 23-year-old opponent.

To achieve it she had to come from a set and a break of serve down in the second set, and then from 5-6 down in the decider plus the disappointment of losing a 5-3 lead, in a match which was intriguingly unpredictable.

“It was an amazing match, and for a final it was perfect,” Kerber said. “It sounds good to have my name on the trophy next to Billy-Jean King and Martina Navratilova, and I am proud of what I have achieved this week.

“I just tried to fight point by point and being able to win this will give me great confidence in my preparation (for Wimbedon).”

There were moments though when it seemed the six-foot one-inch Pliskova might dominate the match with her steep serving and fierce straight driving down both lines, but Kerber nervelessly held out to to win a tense deciding set tie-break.

“I did everything I could,” said Pliskova, who is playing well enough soon to break into the top ten anyway. “So I am not really disappointed to play a match like this in a final.

“I had the feeling Angelique was everywhere, and every lefty is tough on grass. She moves so well and plays flat shots which is important on this surface. I will go away happy.”

Kerber will go away clutching the Maud Watson trophy – the prize which was presented to the first Wimbledon winner back in 1884. She will hope that it is an omen.