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The future’s bright for Tara

sports Updated: Aug 22, 2007 02:01 IST
Deepika Sharma
Deepika Sharma
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

She is young, talented and has just returned to India after pocketing two ITF titles in England and Portugal.

Only 19, Tara Iyer exudes remarkable confidence — she's as poised on court as she is off it. This Chennai girl has a lot going for her, and that could make her the next big thing in women's tennis in the country. Her brilliant court movement and groundstrokes, coupled with a lean, athletic frame, are the most evident attributes of this talented teen.

After demolishing Thailand's Sophia Mulsap 6-3, 6-2 in their first-round match at the ITF women's tournament in Noida on Tuesday, Iyer spoke about her terrific form and her plans in the near future.

"My game is much better than it was before I won those two titles," said Iyer. "My strokes are consistent and I am playing aggressive tennis."

Iyer said that her two titles in Wrexham (UK) and Montemor-O-Nova (Portugal) give her a lot of confidence each time she steps on the court. "Both the titles are really special. Even though I was the top seed at the Wrexham event, the competition was really tough. I'm glad I pulled off good victories through the event," said Iyer, who is coached by her father Parameswaran Iyer and Aditya Sachdeva at the Siri Fort Complex in the Capital.

Asked how she lifted her game to win two important events, the teenager came up with a bright answer: "Every player has different kinds of strokes and serves which give them an edge over the opponent. For me, it is a mental game because one should be able to crack the opponent's plans and triumph."

But success always comes at a cost. Iyer, who was an economics student at the Duke University in North Carolina, has given up her studies to concentrate on tennis. "It was obviously a big decision. But I now want to focus only on my game," said Iyer. "I used to play for my college. It was very competitive but I have been able to work better on my game after quitting college."

Currently ranked 409 in the world, Iyer’s immediate aim is to climb up into the top-250. "By the end of the year, I want to break the 250 barrier. After playing here, I will be off to Tashkent to play another ITF event.”

Important results

First Round Rushmi Chakravarthi (Ind) bt Parul Goswami (Ind) 2-6, 7-5, 6-0; Kyung-Kee Chae bt Archana Venkataraman (Ind) 6-0, 6-0; Tara Iyer (Ind) bt Sophia Mulsap (Tha) 6-3, 6-2; Sonal Phadke bt Geeta Manohar 6-4, 6-1.

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