Samantha Stosur of Australia hits a return against Heather Watson of Britain during their women's singles quarter-final match of the WTA Hong Kong Open in Hong Kong on October 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Sam Stosur has ground out a tough first round win at the Brisbane International to kick start her preparations for the Australian open.

Stosur advanced to the second round with a three set win over Slovakian Jana Cepelova.

The former US Open champion took out the first set, before suffering a typical lapse in the second set.

However, the Aussie regrouped, coming back from a break down early in the third set, to record a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win.