Tennis

Tara Iyer now a star economist

Tara Iyer  

As a 15-year-old, Tara Iyer provided a lot of hope for Indian women’s tennis when she played the ITF (International Tennis Federation) grade-1 junior tennis final against the 17-year-old Sania Mirza, in Manila, in 2003. Two Indian girls competing in the final on foreign soil in a tournament that was next only to the Grand Slams was something rare.

Ms. Iyer then had the dream of being the best in the world and win Wimbledon some day. However, a recurrent knee injury, an abdominal tear, a brain surgery, and a series of elbow surgeries following a fall down a flight of stairs, kept interrupting her life, and career in tennis.

Undaunted by the turn of events and a shattered dream, Ms. Iyer realigned her focus to academics.

She went to Duke University in North Carolina to pursue her studies She worked at the International Monetary Fund in Washington before taking up a doctoral course in Economics at Oxford University that she completed “after five years of incredible hard work, and setbacks”. Recently, Ms. Iyer joined the Council of Economic Advisers to the U.S. President, at the White House.

Ups and downs

“I am now a professional economist and enjoying my new career. My fields of specialisation are in monetary policy, macroeconomics, and international finance. During my Ph.D. at Oxford, I was granted research fellowships at several institutions, including the Federal Reserve Board, the International Monetary Fund, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and Harvard University,” Ms. Iyer said.

“Tennis will always be a part of my life. I just recovered this summer after two tumultuous years of rehabilitation, following a fall down a flight of stairs, and have started training again.”

“I feel that people can play professional sports and also achieve success in another field. It is crucial that we continue to encourage young sportspersons and instil in them the desire to push themselves in other fields as well,” she said.

“My family was extraordinarily supportive,” she recollected. “They coached and travelled with me despite their jobs. My parents are truly remarkable people — funny, optimistic and intelligent.”

She added, “Sports gave me tremendous confidence, especially as a young woman. Without tennis, I certainly would not be where I am today. I would not have the same level of dedication and focus. As India continues to modernise, I hope that sports will continue to be a bigger part of society, especially for young women.”

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Printable version | Nov 20, 2020 12:37:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/tara-iyer-now-a-star-economist/article21261462.ece

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