Sam Stosur has turned to her childhood coach, hoping the reunion sparks a late-career renaissance.
Turning 35 in March, Stosur has no plans on scaling back her singles schedule in favour of a cruisy, lucrative life on thedoubles circuit.
Once ranked No.1 in the world in doubles, the former US Open champion and French Open finalist – looking as fit as ever – maintains she can re-emerge as a grand slam singles force.
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“I still feel like I can compete with the best players, so why not keep going,” Stosur told AAP.
“I want to play singles as long as I can. I still think it’s in me to do a lot better than I have the last year or so.”
Ranked 72nd after working her way back from a long-term wrist injury this year, Stosur has reconnected with Nick Watkins – who last mentored the Queenslander as a 16-year-old – after a two-year stint with Josh Eagle.
Stosur credits Watkins with helping develop her deadly second-serve kicker, which has proven one of the biggest weapons in women’s tennis over the past decade.
“The coach before him, Ian (Brady), got it going and then I spent a lot of time with Nick after that and he sort of refined everything and has kept it going,” the one-time world No.4 said.
“I’ve just done a couple of weeks with Nick on the Gold Coast and absolutely loved it.
“So it looks like he’s going to help me over the Aussie summer and kind of go from there.
“I’m excited about it.
“There’s obviously no guarantee about what’s going to happen over January and our year isn’t just based on the three or four weeks that we’re here.
“But I’ll do everything I can to be in the best form possible, so I’m looking forward to it.”
In addition to losing to the 2010 title match in Paris to Francesca Schiavone, Stosur has reached three other French Open semi-finals and she plans on making Roland Garros her chief focus in 2019.
“The whole clay-court swing,” she said.
“But I actually really enjoyed playing on the grass this year so I might try and make that a bit of a priority too.
“But first thing’s first, January, when we’ve got some big events and then no doubt the clay season is the biggest priority of the year.”