Melbourne VIC, Australia, 21 November 2014 |

Australia’s most decorated Newcombe Medallist, Sam Stosur, is again in the running to win the nation’s most prestigious individual prize.

The 30-year-old has been nominated as a finalist for the Newcombe Medal in 2014 – which honours Australia’s most outstanding elite tennis player for the year – having previously won the award in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Stosur finds herself up against stiff competition for the medal; her fellow finalists include Casey Dellacqua, Lleyton Hewitt and Nick Kyrgios.

She said that although it was nice to be a finalist, she was not expecting to win.

“I don’t feel like I had a great year personally but I think there’s obviously two other players that certainly had a better year and should win it ahead of me so that’s fine, they deserve it,” she said.

One of those players is Dellacqua, who Stosur singled out as having enjoyed an inspirational run of success in the past 12 months.

“I think Casey’s had a fantastic year, and to go from, I don’t even know what she started, she was outside 100 (Dellacqua began the season ranked 142nd) … that’s fantastic,” Stosur said.

“I’m sure she’s very pleased with it as well and she proved to herself again her tennis and she’s got that capability of playing with some of the best players in the world and getting herself into the top 30.

“It’s really exciting for her to, in the later stages of her career, be able to do that. So good on her.

“If I didn’t win Osaka show may have got me (for No.1 Aussie),” Stosur laughed.

Indeed, Dellacqua’s ascent to world No.29 gave Australia two women inside the year-end top 30 for the first time since way back in 1988.

But Stosur’s victory in Osaka – her third at the Japanese WTA event and her season highlight – ensured that she remained the year-end No.1 Aussie for an incredible ninth straight year.

And there were other highlights too, including a run to the fourth round at Roland Garros, semifinal finishes in Hobart, New Haven and Beijing, and wins over Caroline Wozniacki, Eugenie Bouchard, Dominika Cibulkova and Sabine Lisicki.

Stosur said she was looking forward to the “Newks” but that her recent injury troubles would see her modify her footwear.

“(It) gives you an excuse not to where to wear massive heels,” she laughed.

“I haven’t really hit the dance floor too many times at the Newcombe Medal, I’m usually ready for bed by that stage; we’ll see how it goes this year.”

Got a fan question for Sam? Send it to us on Twitter using the #Newks14 hashtag and watch the live stream on the night of the Newcombe Medal to see if she answers it! 

Find out more about the Newcombe Medal Australian Tennis Awards, to be held on Monday 24 November at the Palladium Ballroom at Melbourne’s Crown Entertainment Complex.