Brisbane QLD, Australia, 31 December 2014 | AAP

Sam┬áStosur believes her best chance at breaking out of her Australian Open rut is by putting herself “in the firing line” straight up in 2015.

Forgoing the chance to represent her nation at the Hopman Cup, the Queenslander has instead chosen to play her home tournament at the Brisbane International.

But neither home town support nor sentiment is the reason; rather the cut-throat nature of one of the most difficult non-Grand Slam tournaments on the WTA tour has attracted her to Pat Rafter Arena.

And the fact Stosur will end the year outside the world’s top 20 for the first time since 2008 means she is at the mercy of a draw that contains former world No.1s Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, Victoria Azarenka and Jelena Jankovic.

“This is one of the toughest tournaments of the year almost so unseeded at (22) in the world is pretty rough,” she said.

“But that’s the way it goes and that’s fine, I’ll certainly be ready to play my first match no matter who it’s against.”

To read the full feature, visit