After 16 straight seasons in the top-100 of the WTA singles list, Samantha Stosur still holds desire and motivation to compete against younger rivals, especially after that doubles Major title claimed at the Australian Open in January.
A couple of days ago, the Brisbane native received the Spirit of Tennis Award as a true testimony of her dedication, commitment and incredible contribution for Australian tennis, giving her even stronger boost to stay competitive in 2020 as well and seek the opportunity to play at her fifth straight Olympic Games in Tokyo.
If she achieves that, Sam would become only the fifth Aussie athlete to compete at five Olympic Games after Natalie Cook, Mary Hanna, Jian Fang-Lay and Andrew Hoy, highlighting that as the primary target ahead of the next season.
"That's going to be a real priority, to make sure I'm there and competing at another Olympics," Stosur said. "If I can keep my ranking relatively high for doubles, then I'll be able to play that and singles, you never really know until closer to the time.
I'm still playing this year coming and hopefully, the year after, I haven't got any plans to stop any time soon. Motivation sometimes wavers a little bit because it is hard to keep doing everything you need to, and what has always worked.
When you're not getting the results and the outcomes that you want, it can become a little demoralizing. "Champions, and Sam being the 2011 US Open winner, it's the way that they are wired," Tennis Queensland CEO Mark Handley said.
"They have this pursuit and constant desire to get the best out of themselves. As long as Sam is continuing to perform on the world stage and her body is in great shape and her mind is great then I think she can compete at the highest level for a while.
The numbers would support that; the average age of the top-100 men and women these days is around about 27. The days of teenage Grand Slam champions are long gone. These days, is it possible to perform and excel in the prime of your career."