Hobart TAS, Australia, 9 January 2015 | AAP

Injury woes brought Storm Sanders’ 2014 tennis season to a premature end but the Australian is back for the new year having secured the last wildcard for the Hobart International.

Before she was forced to withdraw from competition in July with a combination of back and knee problems, Sanders won her first match on the WTA tour in Hobart and will return to the southern capital feeling fit and with high hopes.

“Coming back to Hobart feels like home to me. It’s where I’ve played some of my best tennis,” the 20-year-old said on Friday.

“My goal is to return to the top 150 this year and for my body to remain injury-free.”

The left hander’s career-high singles ranking of 202 has dropped to 365 after her absence from competition.

Sanders joins an Australian contingent in Hobart led by the tournament’s top seed and world No.29 Casey Dellacqua, who will be fresh from the Hopman Cup in Perth where she opened her year with back-to-back singles losses, with another chance to come on Friday night against Brit Heather Watson.

Watson will also travel to Hobart, along with Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova, American Sloane Stevens, and 2014 runner-up Czech Klara Koukalova.

World No.39 Koukalova is expecting tough competition during the seven-day event.

“The tournament is one of the strongest on the tour so every match here is very tough,” the 32-year-old said.

“I have a lot of points to defend for the first half of the year so that’s my goal to defend some of the points and then I have nothing to lose.”

The Hobart International draw will be held Friday night with play to begin on Sunday.