Mariaan de Swardt
Mariaan de Swardt, a native of Johannesburg, South Africa, brings a wealth of professional playing experience with her to her position as head coach of the Delaware Smash. Entering her 4th season at the helm, de Swardt has seen success as both a player and a coach in World TeamTennis. She was named the 2000 Female Most Valuable Player and finished the 1995 season ranked No. 1 in women's doubles with Martina Navratilova, helping lead the New Jersey Stars to the league championship.
Since 1988, she has won two Grand Slam titles in mixed doubles competition, including the 1999 Australian Open and the 2000 French Open with partner David Adams. During the summer of 2002, de Swardt returned home to South Africa to serve as the captain of the nation's Federation Cup team, which advanced out of the knockout draw of the Euro/Africa Group 2 Qualifier.
Along with the two Grand Slam wins, de Swardt also holds four career doubles titles and a Sanex WTA Tour singles title in 1998.
Perhaps the best singles win of her career also came in 1995 as she defeated then top-ranked Steffi Graf at a tournament in Brighton, dealing Graf only her second loss of the year to that point. A member of the South African Fed Cup Team in 1992 and 1994-97, de Swardt was also a member of the South African Olympic Team in 1992, '96 and 2000. De Swaart was named recipient of the sportswoman of the Year in South Africa in 1999 and 2000.
Aside from her professional tennis career,de Swardt has been involved with the Girls and Boys Club of Hilton Head, S.C., visiting with children when in town and corresponding via e-mail on the road. She has also been a commentator for Eurosport and South African television in her career.
Currently, de Swardt resides in Atlanta. When she is not smashing forehands she works for Remax Metro Atlanta. De Swardt also has her own non profit: “Pet Care Fund” that raises money for abused and neglected domestic pets and wild life.