Samantha Stosur believes that she can compete on the WTA Tour for another three years.
The 33-year-old turned professional in 1999 and has a career-high ranking of World No.4 along with nine singles titles.
Despite her veteran status, she remains motivated to keep playing and says that staying on the circuit until 2020 is a possibility.
“I feel really motivated at the moment and ready to go,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I think sometimes that can waver in and out for athletes but after this last lot of time off, I was like: 'Nah, I want it. I do want to keep going', and it really just highlighted that fact.
“I think there are still another good two, three years – who knows? If my body is still good and I am able to compete with the best, then I don't want to put a number on it.”
Her 2017 has been hampered by a wrist injury that prevented her from competing during the summer months and forced her to miss Wimbledon and the US Open. Consequently, her ranking has tumbled to No.41, but she was pleased with the manner in which she finished the year.
“By the end, the match I played against [Agnieszka] Radwanska was up there with how I was playing before I got injured,” she said, reflecting on the three-set win in Hong Kong.
“I felt like mentally I was ready to compete again and wanted to get out there and compete. Physically, I was feeling pretty good, too. You don't wish for that time off but when you have got it, it can actually be a blessing in disguise – let the batteries run out and then charge them up again and get going.
“Obviously, now, I will have a long pre-season and lots of time to fine-tune things.”
One of her big early targets in 2018 will be the Australian Open, where the home favorite has only once made it into the second week.
For the first time in close to a decade, she will not go into the year’s first major as the top-ranked Australian woman due to the rise of Ashleigh Barty, who broke into the WTA Top 20 for the first time on October 23.
And Stosur is delighted for her compatriot.
“It's fantastic to see her, to finish potentially Top 20 so that is awesome. It is really good to see she has been doing so well,” she said. “As far as not being the highest ranked, that's OK, I am happy to be...wishing that we can all do well. That's the main goal.”