Manika Batra’s dream run at the 2024 Saudi Smash in Jeddah continued as she beat Germany’s world No 14 Nina Mittleham in straight games to make her way into the quarter-finals of women’s singles event on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old Indian required just 22 minutes to knock out Mittelham from the competition with a 11-6, 11-9, 11-7 win to make her first-ever career quarter-finals at a Grand Smash event. In fact, before her campaign in Jeddah, she had never even won a singles match at this level.

“I’m feeling really proud with myself that I played my best game today after beating Wang Manyu,” said Batra after her win as per WTT. “That match was really important to me and I was happy and excited so I had to keep myself calm for this match.”

The win also marked Batra’s first-ever victory over the German paddler in four meetings.

Batra, ranked 39th in the world, is now expected to break into the top-25 in the world, when the rankings are updated next.

“Everything is going right here,” said Batra. “Everything in my room, in my practice session, in my match; so I think I love this country!”

She is now slated to face Japan’s Hina Hayata, who is ranked world No 5, in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

Batra had earlier stunned world No 2 Wang Manyu 6-11, 11-5, 11-7, 12-10 in the second round after she opened her campaign with a 11-6, 13-11, 11-8 win over a higher-ranked Andreea Dragoman of Romania.

Batra had lost her status as India’s highest ranked women’s singles paddler for the first time in years when Sreeja Akula, ranked 38 in the world, overtook her in the world rankings last month. Batra is now expected to regain her status as India’s top women’s singles paddler.

Campaign ends in doubles

Meanwhile, India’s campaign in doubles events ended on Tuesday at the 2024 Saudi Smash with the women’s doubles pair of Ayhika Mukherjee-Sutirtha Mukherjee, the mixed doubles pair of Harmeet Desai-Yashaswini Ghorpade, and the men’s doubles pair of Manav Thakkar-Manush Shah facing losses in their respective matches.

While Ayhika and Sutirtha went down fighting 11-6, 9-11, 12-10, 6-11, 8-11 to Miyu Nagasaki and Kim Nayeong in 43 minutes in the Round of 16, Shah and Thakkar lost out Lubomir Pistej and Chan Baldwin 20-18, 4-11, 6-11, 11-9, 7-11 at the same stage.

Meanwhile, Desai and Ghorpade lost 6-11, 10-12, 4-11 in straight games by the Chinese topseeds Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha in the mixed doubles quarter-finals.