In seven previous meetings with Top 10 opponents, Pliskova had left empty handed every time, and she looked set for another disappointment when she won just one of the first 17 points. However, after belatedly getting on the scoreboard, the Czech quickly grew in confidence, pegging back Kerber amidst a flurry of winners before pinching the set on a tie-break.
Her forehand now firing on all cylinders and her imposing serve finding its spots, Pliskova built on this momentum to race into a 4-1 lead in the second. With the finishing line in sight, the Czech momentarily tightened up only to steady herself once more, hitting her eighth ace of the match to close out a 7-6(5), 6-4 win.
"She was playing really amazingly in the beginning and there wasn't very much I could do," Pliskova said. "But then I won one game and suddenly I started to feel much better and I came back to win the first set.
"I sensed she was a little bit down at the start of the second and I made a really fast start. I then started to make a few mistakes that perhaps I shouldn't have and made it a little bit complicated. I'm happy that I got through in the end."
Elina Svitolina inflicted further disappointment on the home fans in the following match on Center Court when she defeated Mona Barthel, 6-4, 6-4. Also advancing was Karin Knapp, who won a marathon encounter with No.7 seed Caroline Garcia to reach her first quarterfinal of the season.
Knapp arrived in Germany without a win since February and needed two hours and 39 minutes to see off Garcia in a see-saw encounter, 6-7(9), 6-4, 6-4. Meeting Knapp next will be No.2 seed Eugenie Bouchard, who saw off Yaroslava Shvedova, 7-6(3), 7-6(6).