Pliskova wins Aegon Trophy as Baghdatis advance to final
Kristyna Pliskova overcame Zarina Diyas in the Aegon Trophy final to clinch her second singles title in Britain this year.
In the men's draw, former World No. 8 Marcos Baghdatis beat top seed Igor Sijsling 6-4 6-2 at the Nottingham Tennis Centre to reach his first singles decider in nearly three years.
The 2006 Australian Open runner-up faces either Marinko Matosevic or Gilles Muller in Sunday's ATP Challenger final after their contest was halted because of fading light. Play was suspended after Australia's Matosevic forced the match into a third set.
Earlier in the day, Czech World No. 118 Pliskova starter her grass-court campaign in style by beating fifth seed Diyas 6-2 3-6 6-4. Her Aegon Trophy triumph follows hard-court success in Preston earlier this year where she claimed the Aegon GB Pro-Series South Ribble title.
Victory also saw Pliskova go one step further than her twin sister Karolina, who was a runner-up in Nottingham last year.
"I will go and text her," a triumphant Pliskova said.
The second set which Pliskova dropped against Kazakhstan's World No. 86 in the final was the only one she allowed to slip during the tournament.
"I feel so tired after that because it was mentally tough. I'm tired but happy," said Pliskova.
"She played so well and came out more aggressive in the second set than she did in the first."
After Diyas had her service game broken in the deciding set she hit back brilliantly, managing to save championship point on the way to breaking back in the next game.
However, the 20-year-old admits fatigue affected her as former girls' Wimbledon champion Pliskova sealed the title by breaking her for a second successive time.
"In that last game I just got tired, I double faulted and made mistakes," said Diyas. "That third set was really tough because she was serving really good. I've had a good week on grass so I'm exciting going towards Wimbledon."
Diyas is next in action at the Aegon Classic where she meets Coco Vandeweghe in the first round.
Elsewhere, Baghdatis is one victory away from sealing his first title since winning the Sydney International in 2010.
He is yet to drop a match in his first tournament after an eight-week injury absence, having overcome former Aegon Trophy champion Benjamin Becker, America's Denis Kudla, fifth seed Kenny De Schepper and Sijsling on the way to the final.
"It means a lot to me because the players in this Challenger are very tough," said Baghdatis.
"I've beaten some great players who perform well on grass - Sijsling was in the third round of Wimbledon last year, Kenny played in the fourth round there and this is one of Becker's favourite surfaces."
In doubles action, Chris Guccione and Rajeev Ram claimed the double's title 6-7(2) 6-2 11-9 against the top seeded pairing of Colin Fleming and Andre Sa.
Meanwhile, men's qualifying for the Aegon Nottingham Challenge also commenced on Saturday with first-round matches forced indoor because of the inclement weather before play was later moved back onto grass.
The event is the second of back-to-back ATP Challenger and ITF events at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.
Wild cards Edward Corrie and Marcus Willis will meet in the first round of the main draw which starts on Monday (9th June). Teenager Kyle Edmund will start his Aegon Nottingham Challenge campaign against top seed Go Soeda of Japan, while Oliver Golding takes on American Ryne Williams. Daniel Smethurst gets his campaign underway against World No. 177 Ante Pavic of Croatia and David Rice meets Dimitar Kutrovsky who fell at the quarter-final stage of the Aegon Trophy on Saturday. Wild cards have also gone to Britain's top junior Katie Boulter, Samantha Murray, Jade Windley and Isabelle Wallace, who went out in the third round of the girls' singles at Roland Garros last week.
Entry to both the Aegon Trophy and Aegon Challenge is free for all spectators.
For more information, including orders of play and a full list of results for the Nottingham Festival of Tennis, visit www.nottinghamfestivaloftennis.com.