It’s a case of new coach, new year but not quite a new beginning for Australian tennis ace Samantha Stosur.
Stosur has big hopes for 2014 under Miles Maclagan, the former mentor of Andy Murray, Marcos Baghdatis and Laura Robson.
But the 2011 US Open champion has no plans to radically change her power game.
Speaking for the first time since hiring Maclagan last month, Stosur said her new coach is intent on “trying to build on the tennis that I’ve already got”.
“Right from our first conversation he’s like: ‘You obviously know how to play tennis. You play very well. You’ve got all these great attributes,'” Stosur told AAP.
“So it’s a matter of trying to keep bringing those out and work on the aspects that I’m not quite so confident on and get better and hopefully keep building my all-round game to be as good as it can be.”
Stosur lost her place in the world’s top 10 this year for the first time since April 2010, ending the season at 18th in the rankings.
But the 29-year-old finished 2013 with a bang, reaching back-to-back finals and capturing a second title for the season in Moscow.
“It’s interesting. I’ve gone to my worst ranking in four or five years, but I’d never won two times before, I’d never beaten Azarenka before, I’d never beaten Kvitova before,” she said.
“There were lots of good things in there as well, which I’ve been able to take away and look at more objectively and realise that it wasn’t so bad at all.
“But it’s the grand slams, it’s those big tournaments – Miami I couldn’t play, Beijing, Madrid I lost first round and some of the others I lost early as well.
“So it’s at those really big tournaments where it counts, where the big points are and where you can make gains.”
Stosur’s late-season surge came while flying solo for three months, but the Queenslander said there was never a chance she’d attempt to play coachless like Roger Federer did during his most dominant years.
“I don’t know everything. I want guidance, I want that help from outside people and that’s why I’ve gone and hired someone again,” she said.
Yet to venture beyond the Australian Open fourth round in 11 appearances, Stosur is refusing to give up hope of winning her home grand slam.
“I know if I play well and do what I’m capable of, then I can get a good result,” she said.
“I’ve proven to myself and everyone that I can win a slam, so I definitely want to try and do it again.”
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