The Australian public’s treatment of Sam Stosur reached an all-time low on Monday as she crashed out of her home grand slam in the first round.
Stosur was never really in the hunt against American teenager qualifier Caty McNally, falling 6-1 6-4 in their Monday night clash.
The loss made it five-straight first-round exits for Stosur at the Australian Open, and fans were quick to pile on.
‘HAVE A HEART’: Reporter's 'cruel' question brings teen star to tears
‘OH MY GOD’: Nick Kyrgios loses it at reporter's bizarre question
Stosur became the punch-line of many a joke on social media after her loss, with some of the comments downright cruel.
Tim Elbra of Wide World of Sports labelled the treatment of Stosur ‘Australia’s disgrace’.
“It is a grossly unfair fate. Who could possibly be more disappointed that Stosur herself, that she hasn't managed to play her best tennis at home?” Elbra wrote.
What many fans don’t appreciate is that Stosur will go down as one of the greats of Australian tennis.
While she’s only managed a solitary singles grand slam triumph in her long career, her victory over Serena Williams at the 2011 US Open should go down as one of the greatest victories in Australian sporting history.
To defeat Serena in her prime, on her home court in front of her home fans, was nothing short of heroic.
Serena went on to win her next eight-straight grand slam finals, not to mention the 23 she has to her name (more than every other player in history bar Margaret Court).
As well as her singles grand slam title, Stosur has reached the final of the French Open and won three doubles slams.
She’s amassed over $18 million in career prize money, reaching World No.1 in doubles and World No.4 in singles.
Stosur planning another crack at Australian Open
The Queenslander will now concentrate on defending her Open doubles crown, won with Chinese partner Zhang Shuai, although this year she is playing with fellow Australian Ellen Perez.
Soon to be 36, Stosur said she hoped to return to Melbourne Park in 2021.
"I want to keep playing, no doubt," Stosur said.
"I guess my ranking is going to see where that allows me to keep playing.
"If I can win matches and do the things that I think I'm still capable of, then hopefully I'm still in the main draw of grand slams and having another shot."
While she admitted that in the past the pressure of playing in a home slam had been tough to handle, Stosur said she couldn't use that as an excuse.
"I don't use that as a reason or an excuse or anything like that.
"There's certainly been years in the past where I did struggle with that but at the moment I don't think it's that."
She said the conditions at Melbourne Park, as well as the balls, didn't really suit her game.
"I think the conditions I find really hard with these courts and balls," Stosur added.
"I just don't get the same reward off the court as what I do outside of Australia and I find that difficult every single time."
While grand slam singles titles may now be beyond her, Stosur said she is aiming to compete in a fifth Olympic Games in Tokyo, starting late July.
"If I can make it to a fifth Olympics, that would be quite incredible," she said.
"That would definitely be a highlight of the year down the track if I'm able to get myself to Tokyo."