We need to talk.
Four dreaded words that can change everything, but I promise you, this is a conversation that any sports fan absolutely needs to have.
We need to sit down, take a seat and have a chat about Australian tennis' golden girl Ash Barty because in case you hadn't heard, she's had a pretty good year.
Obviously the statement "pretty good" is playing down her achievements a fair bit, but that's something Barty herself has done expertly in her time at the top, making her story seem like it's the norm - something it certainly is not.
Establishing herself as one of the sport's blooming prospects from an early age, Barty took out the Wimbledon junior Grand Slam in 2011 at the age of 15 and later that year, won the Australian Open wildcard playoff to make her debut at tennis' highest level.
Taking to doubles like a duck to water regularly partnering Casey Dellacqua, the pairing made three Grand Slam finals in 2013 but were unable to take one out before it all got too much the following year.
After an on-and-off 2014 season, the then-18-year-old announced she was stepping away from the sport, potentially that we'd lost one of the game's up-and-coming talents forever.
We know now just how much that helped her become the player she is today, but back then, it was a scary prospect.
In her 21-month hiatus from the sport Australia had watched her grow up with, the Queenslander had a dip at cricket, representing Brisbane Heat in the WBBL, peaking with an innings of 39 off 27 balls against Melbourne Stars.
But the hunger and love came back and while success didn't come instantly, Barty made her return to the WTA tour in May of 2016.
Weaving her way through the pack, she finished 2018 ranked 16, but no one - not even Barty herself - could imagine the year she would have in front of her.
She amassed 52 match wins, a maiden Grand Slam, a six million dollar pay cheque for the WTA tour finals victory, made the US Open doubles final and became the first player in women's ranking history to finish the year ranked no. 1 after starting the year outside the top 10.
So why are we, the Australian public, not going off our heads about it?
I'm not usually one to play the gender, race or class card but we've been crying out for the likes of Bernard Tomic or Nick Kyrgios to emulate the efforts of Lleyton Hewitt for years and now we have a perfect role model in the form of Barty, it baffles me how she is not being universally celebrated.
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
I will acknowledge that the women's game is completely different to the men's as the higher rankings can be somewhat of a revolving door (in the last three calendar years, eight women have held the top spot and 10 have won Grand Slams as opposed to four and three in the men) but given Ash's story, age and likability, we need to get around her.
Speaking after her career prizemoney rapidly spiked with a 6-4 6-3 win over Elina Svitolina late Sunday night (Tastime), Barty quickly reflected on her breakthrough season in the most Australian way possible.
"Give me a week at home with a few beers on the couch where I can kind of re-live what has happened in 2019. It's just been a crazy year, it really has," she said.
It's quotes like this that show she has managed to maintain poise and composure at the highest level while still showing grit and determination but still has to deal with armchair tennis community (they get a pretty stiff reflection in these columns, probably should lay off them a bit) who aren't a fan of her tactical game style.
With comments like, "the most boring unappealing, Phil Collins of the tennis world.......sure she's meant to be a dinner lady," and "I'm sure she's a nice person but for me... there is nothing exciting about watching her game. Slicing 75-80 per cent of her shots is not pretty tennis. I'm not a fan at all," it can certainly be understood why some tennis players leave social media - and in Barty's case, the game - alone.
So while the Australian summer of tennis will see the pressure mounted on our Grand Slam champion, once the her home tournaments are finished, please stay a member of the Barty party!
- Win-loss record: 52-11
- Titles: 3 - Miami, French Open, Birmingham
- Weeks at no.1: Seven
- Racquets smashed: Zero