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Stosur backs Williams for new slam record

AAP logoAAP 28/12/2016 Laine Clark

At 32, Sam Stosur admits she is starting to feel her age against the young guns of women's tennis.

But the ex-US Open champion has still backed 35-year-old Serena Williams to defy time and break Margaret Court's all-time grand slam singles record of 24.

World No.21 Stosur said a new wave of younger champions this year had kept her on her toes ahead of her 2017 opener, the Brisbane International starting on Sunday.

In what loomed as a changing of the guard, Williams lost the French Open final to 22-year-old Garbine Muguruza this year.

Williams' record equalling run of 186 straight weeks at world No.1 finally ended in September when she was leapfrogged by her Australian Open conqueror, another 20-something Angelique Kerber.

Stosur admitted it was getting harder to back up in her 30s but did not rule out Williams proving age is no barrier by setting a new grand slam world record.

Williams equalled Steffi Graf's Open-era grand slam milestone of 22 when she claimed her seventh Wimbledon title in July.

"I would certainly not be writing her off getting another one, two - who knows?" Stosur said in Brisbane on Wednesday.

"It doesn't get any easier the older you get.

"I certainly know the differences between being over 30 to being 24.

"It's backing up every day, that's what becomes harder.

"But Serena is such a great champion I wouldn't be writing her off breaking records, that's for sure."

Stosur may be wary of her age but she still firmly believes she can match it with the new crop after making some major changes ahead of 2017.

She has "tinkered" with her strings and changed her racquet.

But most notably she has hired ex-Australian Davis Cup coach Josh Eagle as her new mentor.

"There is a new group of players coming through and cementing themselves in the top 10, 20 and 30 that everyone is wary of," Stosur said.

"(But) I don't see it (age) being a huge difference.

"I still feel I am a good enough player to be up there (top 20).

"And it's nice to have Josh in my corner now.

"We are on the same page. Hopefully there is a productive year ahead."

Stosur will first try to end her Brisbane jinx under Eagle.

She has won just four matches in six visits - not an ideal preparation for the Australian Open where she has made the fourth round twice.

Stosur will be unseeded in Brisbane after a rollercoaster 2016.P

She made the French Open semi-finals - her first sighting in the last four at a major in four years.

But she finished the year with six straight losses.

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