Katie Swan: True Brit
‘It was a big thing for me knowing that I would have Andy Murray as a mentor’
Katie Swan has lived in the United States for the last six years, but having Andy Murray as her mentor has reinforced her determination to remain ‘100 per cent British’
Katie Swan has a new coach, a new fitness trainer, a new management team – and an old accent.
Having lived in the United States for the last six years, the most promising teenager in British women’s tennis admits that she had started to sound like an American, but tennishead can confirm that her transatlantic twang has gone into reverse.
“I’ve definitely been trying to keep it more of a British accent,” Swan said with a smile during a break from a recent training block at the National Tennis Centre at Roehampton.
“When I came back to Britain after my family moved to the US everyone gave me so much stick about my accent. They said that I sounded way too American. Since then I’ve tried to change that. I think I’m doing OK at the moment.”
She added: “I feel like I’m getting used to the American lifestyle, but in terms of my roots, for sure I’m 100 per cent British. I would never change.”
”Swan, who turned 19 in March, was back in Britain training with her new coach, Diego Veronelli, and fitness trainer, Carlos Perez. Without a British base since her family moved to Kansas because of her father’s work, Swan usually stays at the NTC when she comes home.
Andy Murray, whose 77 Sports Management company signed Swan up at the start of the year, helped to recruit Veronelli.
The Argentinian had stopped working with Heather Watson - who is a good friend of Swan’s - because family commitments meant he was unable to commit to travelling year-round. He is now sharing coaching duties with Julien Picot, who has been working with Swan for more than three years.
Swan could hardly have imagined the part Murray would eventually play in her career after she first met the future world No.1 when he presented some prizes at a junior event 11 years ago. “Andy was always my idol when I was growing up,” she said. “It’s amazing what he has accomplished for Britain and for our sport.”
This is an extract from a feature written by Paul Newman and published in the Summer 2018 edition of tennishead magazine.
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