SPORTS

Angelique Kerber of Germany holds off hard-hitting Karolina Pliskova in 3 sets at Stanford

  • Angelique Kerber, from Germany, returns the ball to Karolina Pliskova, from Czech Republic, during the championship match in the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament in Stanford, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Angelique Kerber, from Germany, returns the ball to Karolina Pliskova, from Czech Republic, during the championship match in the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament in Stanford, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)  (The Associated Press)

  • Karolina Pliskova, from Czech Republic, returns the ball to Angelique Kerber, from Germany, during the championship match in the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament in Stanford, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Karolina Pliskova, from Czech Republic, returns the ball to Angelique Kerber, from Germany, during the championship match in the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament in Stanford, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)  (The Associated Press)

  • Angelique Kerber, from Germany, returns the ball to Karolina Pliskova, from Czech Republic, during the championship match in the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament in Stanford, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015. Kerber won 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Angelique Kerber, from Germany, returns the ball to Karolina Pliskova, from Czech Republic, during the championship match in the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament in Stanford, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015. Kerber won 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)  (The Associated Press)

Angelique Kerber bent her knees nearly to the ground all afternoon to dig out an onslaught of powerful ground strokes by Karolina Pliskova, beating the hard-hitting Czech 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 for the Bank of the West championship Sunday.

The gritty, left-handed Kerber extended points with her baseline gets on the way to a title in the event she lost at Stanford a year ago against Serena Williams. The fifth-seeded Kerber, from Germany, improved to 4-0 in finals this year, which included edging Pliskova 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (4) in a nearly 2 1/2-hour match for the championship on grass at Birmingham, England, in June, for her first title on that surface.

This slugfest went 2 hours, 7 minutes.

Kerber let out a scream and raised her arms in delight when Pliskova's forehand went into the net on the second match point, completing the 10th break of serve by the German.