New Delhi: India's Prerna Bhambri overcame Ratnika Batra in a closely-fought three-setter to storm into the quarterfinals on a day when Oman's top seed Fatma Al Nabhani crashed out of the $10,000 ITF women's tennis at the DLTA complex on Wednesday.
Prerna, who took out fourth-seeded compatriot Rushmi Chakravarthi in the opening round on Tuesday, battled past reigning national champion Batra 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, in a quality match. She next plays Su Jeong Jang of South Korea who brushed aside fifth-seeded Ashvarya Shrivastava 6-2, 6-1.
Seventh-seeded Ankita Raina is the only other Indian remaining in contention, having received a walkover from her South Korean opponent Da Hye Kim.
Ankita plays in the quarterfinals Japan's Misa Kinoshita, who defeated Australian qualifier Lauren Breadmore 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(3).
Al Nabhani was stunned by unseeded Briton Manisha Foster, rallying after dropping the first set to win 1-6, 6-4, 6-2, in a two-hour clash. Foster next plays Japan's Etsuko Kitazaki, who got a walkover from sixth-seeded South Korean Na-Lae Han.
Prerna, a student at Jesus and Mary College in New Delhi, played solid and frustrated Batra with her fluent ground strokes, invariably finding angles. She looked on course for a straight-set victory when she snatched an early break for a 3-2 lead in the second set. But she dropped her service immediately, double-faulting on the break point.
A fired-up Batra again broke her opponent in the eighth game, when Prerna hit a backhand cross-court long, and served out to make it a set-all.
The two trainees at Siri Fort Sports Complex played their hearts out in the decider with Batra breaking Prerna straightaway. But just when things looked like slipping out of her grasp, Prerna hit back in the fourth game but not before failing with four break points.
The break did a world of good to Prerna's confidence and she nosed ahead 4-2 with another break.
The 20-year-old muffed a match-point netting a forehand in the eight game and was broken in the next game serving for the match. She, however, broke back to take the set and the match in two hours.
In other second round matches, third-seeded Karen Shlomo of Israel got the better of India's Rishika Sunkara 6-4, 6-2, and now plays eighth-seeded German Jessica Sabeshinskaja, who defeated India's Natasha Palja 6-4, 6-1.