Melbourne VIC, Australia, 23 December 2013 | AAP

The untried pairing of Sam Stosur and Bernard Tomic are the latest double act hoping give Australia a hot start to another sizzling summer of tennis down under.

The cream of the sport will converge on Australia chasing Grand Slam spoils and almost $40 million in riches at tournaments across the country from 28 December to 26 January.

From lead-up events in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Hobart, all roads lead to Melbourne Park for the Australian Open starting on 13 January and offering a world-record prize purse of $33 million.

As usual, the action starts at the Hopman Cup on Saturday in Perth, where Stosur and Tomic will endeavour to break a 15-year title drought for Australia.

Stosur and Tomic will be the 18th different local combination bidding to get their hands on the trophy, with only Mark Philippoussis and Jelena Dokic in 1999 having succeeded.

Stosur, a Grand Slam mixed doubles champion, admits she and Tomic are a bit of an odd couple and she’s not too sure who’ll be the boss when they team up for the first time.

“It’s normally the guy that kind of leads things but I’ve probably played a lot more mixed matches than he has,” the 2011 US Open champ said.

“So we’ll make it a combined effort and have a bit of fun. That’s the most important thing with mixed doubles. You can’t take it as seriously as your singles. You don’t want to be so stressed out.

“You take care of yourself and hopefully the guy crosses a lot at the net and does what he should do.”

Tomic looked to have come of age at last year’s Hopman Cup, conquering Australian Open champion and then-world No.1 Novak Djokovic during an unbeaten singles campaign that sparked a 10-match winning streak.

But after backing up his big week in Perth with a maiden ATP title in Sydney and impressive run at the Australian Open, the 21-year-old ended 2013 with several first-round defeats and ranked 51st in the world.

“At the end of the day, he’s a great talent. He can play as well as anybody out there,” Stosur said.

“He’s just got to make sure that his mind is on his tennis. If he can do that, no doubt he can do good things.

“He played great at the Hopman last year so hopefully he can bring that same form and I can do well and hold up my end of the bargain and you never know what can happen there.”

The Brisbane International getting underway on Sunday boasts a superstar line-up including Roger Federer for the first time and world No.1 and defending women’s champion Serena Williams.

Federer has already won the Hopman Cup, Sydney International and Kooyong Classic and will be out to complete the full summer set when he makes his tournament debut at the Queensland Tennis Centre.

Hewitt, Marinko Matosevic, James Duckworth and young gun Nick Kyrgios will be the Aussies taking the fight to Federer in Brisbane, while Casey Dellacqua will carry a 14-match winning streak into the women’s event.

Williams headlines a cracking women’s draw also featuring two-time defending Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova and former No.1s Jelena Jankovic and Caroline Wozniacki.

Tomic has accepted a wildcard to try to defend his title at the Sydney International from 5 January, with world No.5s Juan Martin del Potro and Agnieszka Radwanska the respective top seeds.

Hewitt will wind up his Australian Open preparations as reigning titleholder at Kooyong from 8-11 January.

After falling early in recent campaigns in Brisbane and Sydney, Stosur has opted for a guaranteed three singles matches at the Hopman Cup and then top seeding at the Hobart International from 5 January.

“I’ve left Sydney the last few years not feeling too good about my tennis and going into Melbourne not so happy,” Stosur said.

“So hopefully I can use those three, four matches from the Hopman Cup and keep trying to win a few matches in Hobart and, if I can do that, I’ll be heading to Melbourne in a much better frame of mind than I have the last few years.”

Ninety nine of the world’s top 100 men’s and women’s players will contest the season’s first major, with only the injured Maria Kirilenko and suspended Viktor Troicki missing.