Sydney: Australia's US Open champion Sam Stosur said Monday she will begin her 2012 season in her home state at the Brisbane International as she gears up for a tilt at a second Grand Slam title.
The 27-year-old from Queensland, who stunned three-time champion Serena Williams 6-2, 6-3 to win the first major title of her career in New York this month, is looking forward to competing in front of her fans.
"It is my home state and home tournament and I can’t think of a better way to kick off the tennis year," she said on her website about the January 1-8 event.
"I have always enjoyed playing at the Brisbane International. It has great facilities, a fantastic atmosphere and a Queensland crowd who really love their sport and support me year round."
By winning in New York she became the first Australian woman to claim the US Open since Margaret Court in 1973, and the first to win a Grand Slam title since Evonne Goolagong won Wimbledon in 1980.
Her achievement was recognised with a public reception on the Gold Coast on Monday, where she shared the stage with fellow Queenslander and world champion hurdler Sally Pearson.
The sports stars were given a rousing welcome and handed the keys to the city, with Stosur already turning her attention to winning a second Grand Slam, at the Australian Open in January.
"Winning a Grand Slam is unbelievable but if it was ever to be the Australian Open, that would be something else," said Stosur, who is enjoying a short break with her family on the Gold Coast.
"It's the most special Grand Slam I could ever possibly win, so if that does happen, I think that would absolutely make the top of my career."