Aussie tennis ace Sam Stosur vows to stare down her demons. Photo / AP
A year on from her summer from hell and Samantha Stosur says there's no reason why she can't bounce back and win the Australian Open.
"I've got as good a chance as any of the girls up there," said Stosur. "I won the US Open last year, so why not?
"I know that I can compete and beat the best girls in the world, so I'd like to think it's possible."
Despite candidly confessing to stage fright after first-round losses in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne last January, Stosur is brimming with belief entering 2013.
Far from shying away, Australia's world No9 is vowing to stare down her mental demons and says reliving the pain of last summer is pivotal to hurdling the psychological barriers next month.
"I think you've got to realise what happened and why and what you did wrong and what you can improve on to not make the same mistakes again this coming year," she said.
"Last summer I just froze and played really tight tennis and wasn't free.
I was too passive and didn't do what I needed to do.
"That has happened a few times and it's a matter of realising that in the moment and just taking that chance to do more rather than letting your opponent continue to dictate."
After urgings from coach David Taylor and ongoing sessions with her long-time sports psychologist, Ruth Anderson, Stosur has resolved to be more aggressive in the pressure points that will ultimately define her summer campaign.
"I don't play my best tennis when I'm letting my opponent dictate," she said.
"A lot of the top girls don't, so you've got to realise that in the moment rather than when you're off the court and thinking 'I should have done this and I should have done that'.
"If I had a second chance, that's the one thing I probably want to try and improve this year."
Stosur insists there's no secret formula to coping with the hype and expectations that inevitably accompany Australia's big home hope at Melbourne Park.
"There's no point in trying something completely new," the Queenslander said.
"The key is you can't go into one of the most important times of the year that you want to do well in and expect that doing something completely different is going to work," she said.