As Samantha Stosur embarks on yet another Australian summer of tennis, she would do well to heed the example of her compatriot Lleyton Hewitt when it comes to seizing the day.
Hewitt, whose win over Roger Federer at the Brisbane International on Sunday was as emotional as any throughout his long career, is an over achiever – a man who has wrangled every last drop out of his frame and once stood at the pinnacle of the men’s game before being swamped by the gods who rule today.
His grand slam count stands at two, taking out the 2001 US Open and 2002 Wimbledon title, making hay between the eras of two of the best players the game has ever seen – Pete Sampras and Roger Federer.
If he has ever known fear on a tennis court, you would never know it. Hewitt is a man who takes to the field of battle with a steely resolve.
There must have been times in recent years, heading out to tackle a Djokovic or Nadal, when he would have known he was going to be fighting an uphill battle.
But Hewitt always gave his all – you knew what you were going to get.
Stosur, whose grand slam count is one after her success in the 2011 US Open, fills you with no such confidence, especially when playing in front of her home fans in Australia.
The Queenslander has folded more times Down Under than an origami expert, and someone of her ability should have multiple grand slam trophies in the cabinet when she calls time on her career.
The French Open, where she was a finalist in 2010, is probably her best chance of adding to her tally.
The difference between Stosur and Hewitt, should their careers both end today, is that Lleyton would be regarded as a battler who did everything he could in the game while Stosur, with her massive forehand and kick serve, is a woman who should have achieved more.
She still can, but at 29 she is coming to an age where things will get tougher as her body begins to feel the rigours of 15 years on the Tour.
If Hewitt will go down as one of Australia’s most mentally tough athletes ever, surely Stosur will be remembered as one of our most fragile.
The world number 17 has acknowledged she struggles to deal with the pressure she comes under from her home fans here in Australia.
But rather than worrying about letting down her fans, Stosur should be worried about disappointing herself.
One wonders if she has ever bothered to pull Hewitt aside and quiz him on his approach to the game, or how he continues to get up for the fight at 32 and after having his latter years wrecked by injury.
Stosur could spend a fortune on sports psychologists, but she’d be better off ringing Hewitt, taking him out for a feed and picking that manic, competitive, intense brain.