Brisbane, Qld , 19 September 2011 | Tennis Australia

US Open singles champion Sam Stosur confirmed today that she will start her tennis year in her hometown tournament, the Brisbane International.

The world No.7, who is currently enjoying a quick post-US Open break at home on the Gold Coast, said she was looking forward to starting her Australian summer campaign in Queensland.

“It is a very exciting time for me and it is great to be able to come home and share what has been a huge achievement with my family and friends in Queensland,” Stosur said.

“I don’t get the chance to get home often so to have this time is very special. It also seemed to be the perfect time to confirm that I would be back again in January to play at the Brisbane International.

“It is my home State and home tournament and I can’t think of a better way to kick off the tennis year.

“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.

“I am looking forward to the event and cannot wait to see the new facilities following the floods last year.  From what I have heard the facilities will be even better.

“Hopefully I can bring my best US Open form to the event and be in with a chance to win my first Brisbane International title in 2012.”

Brisbane International Tournament Director Cameron Pearson said: “We are thrilled that Sam has committed to playing the Brisbane International again. As the hometown girl and Australia’s No.1 ranked player, Sam’s commitment is yet another endorsement of the event, which just gets bigger and better each year.

“Australians were in awe of Sam’s performance at the US Open last week and we know the people of Queensland will get right behind our latest grand slam champion in January.

“Winning a Grand Slam is not easy. We are thrilled that the first two girls to confirm their attendance at the Brisbane International are Grand Slam champions”.

Premier Anna Bligh said “today’s confirmation that Sam Stosur will be coming to play at Queensland’s premier tennis event off the back of her US Grand Slam victory is fantastic news for local fans who will get the chance to see their home grown sporting hero in action.”

“The Queensland Government, through Events Queensland, has recently invested in upgrading the women’s tournament which will draw the world’s best to this year’s event. And having a bigger, better tournament just a year after the floods impacted the area says a lot about Queensland’s fighting spirit on and off the court.”

Sport Minister Phil Reeves said the Brisbane International gets bigger and better each year. “It’s events like these that are great for jobs, great for tourism, and a smashing success for the economy,” Mr Reeves said.

“The addition of Sam to the 2012 line up reinforces our reputation as the Champions State and the Events State as well.”

Stosur is currently ranked No.7 in the world after impressive performances at the US Open, Cincinnati, Toronto, Eastbourne and Rome in 2011.

She is the first Australian in t10 years to win the US Open after Lleyton Hewitt’s US title in 2001. She is also the first Australian Grand Slam female champion since Evonne Goolagong Crawley in 1980 and the first female to make it to singles final at Roland Garros since Wendy Turbull in 1979.

The Queenslander has defeated top players Serena Williams, Vera Zvonareva, Li Na and Francesca Schiavone in 2011 and reached a career high ranking of No.4 in February.

Stosur has claimed singles titles at the 2010 Family Circle Cup, Charleston, USA and 2009 HP Open International, Osaka, Japan and is a former world No.1 in doubles with two grand slam doubles titles at the US Open and Roland Garros and two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

She has represented Australia in tennis at the Olympics in 2004 and 2008 and has been a member of the Australian Fed Cup team since 2003.

Stosur will be joined by Maria Sharapova and Bernard Tomic who have already been announced for the 2012 event.

The Brisbane International commenced in 2009 with world-class talent including Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Robin Soderling, Kim Clijsters, Ana Ivanovic and Justine Henin competing over the past three years.

Prize money for this combined ATP/WTA tour event will increase to USD$1.1million in 2012, a 63 per cent increase, then to USD$1.55 million in 2013.

Brisbane International 2012 series packages go on sale on 5 October with single sessions available from 12 October.

Brisbane International 2012, presented by Events Queensland, will take place at the Queensland Tennis Centre, Brisbane, from 1 to 8 January 2012.