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

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.