Australian broadcaster Channel 9 has been accused of sexist broadcasting at the Australian Open with both Serena Williams and World No. 1 Simona Halep snubbed from screens last night.
Nine made the bold decision not to show the start of Williams' second round clash against Eugenie Bouchard live on either of its free-to-air TV channels dedicated to showing the tennis.
The main channel was showing the fifth set of Aussie wildcard Alex Bolt's match against Gilles Simon, while 9 Gem was playing Alexander Zverev's match against Jeremy Chardy.
Nine Go went with Arnold Schwarzenegger classic Last Action Hero.
The scheduling clash has infuriated Aussie viewers and raised eye brows with international tennis commentators in Melbourne for the Open.
Williams has won 23 grand slam singles titles and can lay claim to being the GOAT —Greatest Of All Time — not just of women's tennis but of the sport overall.
Fans were furious they were unable to watch the American superstar in action.
Williams had already suffered from a chaotic Melbourne Park scheduling mix-up which saw her prime time night session match on Rod Laver Arena delayed until after 11pm (NZT) as a result of the earlier marathon thriller which saw Milos Raonic topple Stan Wawrinka over more than four hours.
It was compiled by the moment just a couple hours earlier that No. 1 seed Halep was also overlooked on Australian TV so that the new Australian Open TV rights holder could continue to screen the epic performances of Alex Bolt and Alexei Popyrin, who both dramatically won spots in the third round with huge upsets.
Williams' relegation behind the Aussie locals for prime time billing while chasing her record 24th grand slam crown clearly didn't sit well with Australian fans, who took to social media to vent their frustration on Thursday night.
Some Aussie viewers even accused Nine of sexist treatment towards the superstars of the WTA Tour.
Channel 9 later tweeted out a link for those wanting to watch Williams' match, but it was met with angry replies about still not being able to watch it on TV.
Channel 9 eventually started showing the Williams-Bouchard match when the 37-year-old was up 4-1 in the first set.
With Williams proving unstoppable against Bouchard, fans only got about half an hour of action of the American superstar in action as she ran away to a brutal 6-2 6-2 thumping of the Canadian sensation in just 70 minutes.
Williams has spoken regularly about her efficient conduct on court this Australian Open – all with a view to wrapping up her matches as quickly as possible in order to get back to husband Alexis Ohanian and daughter Alexis Olympia.
She was even more brutal than usual on Thursday night – clearly miffed about her late 9pm start and the delay it caused her in getting back to her family.
Williams' demolition of Bouchard has sent a warning to the rest of the women in Melbourne Park that she is much more fearsome than her No. 16 seed suggests.
She faces Ukrainian teenager Dayana Tastremska in the third round.