Wimbledon preparation aided by Aegon Classic, say finalists

Aegon Classic, Birmingham
Crowds were decent throughout the week at The Priory, despite the inclement Edgbaston weather

Aegon Classic finalists Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova hope their week playing in Birmingham will prove to be ideal preparation for Wimbledon, which starts next Monday (29 June).

"It's my first title on grass and nice to have it in the bag," said Kerber, who beat Pliskova in three sets.

"I enjoyed my week. Everybody's so friendly here," she told BBC WM.

"It was an amazing week. The weather was not that good but people are coming every day," Pliskova told BBC WM.

Multiple former winners at Edgbaston's Priory
4 - Pam Shriver (1984, 1985, 1986, 1987)
2 - Billie-Jean King (1982, 1983), Martina Navratilova (1989. 1991), Zina Garrison (1990, 1995), Lori McNeil (1993, 1994), Nathalie Tauziat (1997, 2001), Maria Sharapova (2004, 2005)

"I hope to come back next year," added the 23-year-old from the Czech Republic. "There are lots of positives from playing in Birmingham.

"This is my first good result on grass, which is good for Wimbledon. I hope I'm starting to adapt to playing on grass and, after this tournament, I feel a lot better."

Sixth seed Pliskova, who has moved up in the world rankings from 12th to 11th, and fourth seed Kerber, still the world number 10, benefitted from the early loss of the tournament's three top seeds.

Angelique Kerber
Fourth seed Angelique Kerber was ranked 10th in the world before winning at Edgbaston

Victoria Azarenka pulled out through injury, while Simona Halep and Ana Ivanovic were both knocked out.

But Germany's Kerber, who had twice before lost in the final of grass-court tournaments, was still delighted with her week's work.

"It was so nice to be back here and to win," added Kerber, who ended 2004 champion Sharapova's Wimbledon hopes a year ago. "And I have had close matches, which is good before going to Wimbledon.

"We only have two events on grass. But now I have won my third title this year I will go to Wimbledon with lots of confidence."

Germany's Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova, from the Czech Republic, were speaking to BBC WM's Rob Gurney.

Wimbledon 2015 on the BBC
Live coverage across BBC TV, radio and online starts on 29 June with 153 hours of tennis scheduled and up to 15 live streams available.
Read more: BBC coverage bigger than ever before

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