Australia still has a very long way to go.
And that was made abundantly clear by some of the shocking comments that followed Sam Stosur’s baby announcement on Tuesday.
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The Aussie tennis champion took to social media to reveal she’s a mother for the first time, announcing partner Liz Astling gave birth to a baby girl last month.
Stosur said she and Astling welcomed baby Genevieve into the world on June 16.
“Life in lockdown during coronavirus has been challenging in many ways but personally it's been one of the most exciting and happy times of my life,” Stosur wrote on Instagram alongside two photos of Genevieve.
“It has been a whirlwind time but we could not imagine life without her now.
“Mum and Evie are doing well and it's so amazing to be home with them both. We are absolutely in love with this little bundle and rolling with the happy chaos.
“We can't wait for what's to come and to watch little Evie grow up....Although not too quickly we hope.”
While the majority of fans and colleagues were overjoyed by the shock announcement, there were some downright disgusting comments that flooded social media channels.
The news of Sam Stosur becoming a mum is such happy news. While she’s never been in the closet she’s never been outspoken about her life either and you don’t have to guess why looking at some of the bigoted comments. People can be so close minded, hateful and disgusting.
— Nicole Wilson (@nicaree55) July 14, 2020
Stosur has never explicitly spoken about her sexuality or relationship with Astling, but she did thank her partner after winning the Spirit of Tennis Award at the Newcombe Medal night in 2019.
“To my Mum, Dad, … and my partner Liz, you have given me the love, support and every opportunity to pursue my dream and I’ll be forever grateful,” she wrote on social media at the time.
She was also highly critical of Margaret Court’s comments that “tennis is full of lesbians” and suggested players could boycott Margaret Court Arena at the Australian Open.
Sam Stosur used to the online vitriol
Sadly for Stosur she recently opened up about how she’s learned to live with the online trolling.
Some online comments even referenced her tennis career after she announced the birth of her new daughter.
After shocking Serena Williams to win the 2011 US Open, many hoped Stosur would go on to become one of Australia’s greatest tennis players.
But at 36 she’s never managed to score that second grand slam singles title, copping vitriol from fans every time she crashes out of the Australian Open.
While she’s only managed a solitary singles grand slam triumph in her long career, her victory over Serena 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 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.
But most of all, she deserves way more respect from the Australian public and it’s time we started to change.