Daniil Medvedev has enhanced his Australian Open pantomime villain status, surviving Stefanos Tsitsipas's best and his own all-time dummy spit to book a date in the final with Rafael Nadal.
The second seed and tournament favourite won 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-4 6-1 in the latest chapter of their spicy four-year rivalry, Medvedev furiously accusing his opponent of illegal in-match coaching on Friday night.
Medvedev served two double faults to be broken late in a second set he lost, the Russian then launching a vicious tirade at chair umpire Jaume Campistol.
Adamant that Tsitsipas's coach and father Apostolos was illegally coaching in between points, he screamed at Campistol asking if he was "mad" and "stupid" and if "his father can talk every point?".
Medvedev then arguably delivered the line of the tournament before leaving the court for a change of clothes after the heated third set.
"If you don't (issue a code violation) you are, how can I call it, a small cat," he said.
After the outburst, officials were planted under the Tsitsipas coaching box in an effort to catch them in the act and a warning was given early in the fourth set.
That code violation drew a laugh from Tsitsipas, who had the crowd in his pocket as Medvedev again dealt with the noise in between serves that he ignored against Nick Kyrgios in the second round.
But it was also a huge turning point, Medvedev winning every game that followed to run away with the victory in two-and-a-half hours.
"I don't think emotions like that help me too much ... many times I lose a match because of this," he said on-court after the win.
"You lose concentration, lose too much energy ... as soon as I done it, I was like 'that was a big mistake'.
"But I'm happy that I managed to reconcentrate for the beginning of the third set .. 15-40 I managed to pull out some serves that brought me back into the match.
"His energy went down and mine was going only up, think it would have gone even more if the match continued."
Earlier, Medvedev crucially held serve from 15-40 down to begin the third set, somehow cooling down and then pouncing at 5-4 to break and scoop the third set then run away with the fourth.
Tsitsipas looked to have stolen the first set when he led 4-1 in the tie-break, after Medvedev had won all but one point on serve in his first six games.
But the Greek lost six of the next seven points to surrender the set.
While Nadal will shoot to become the first man to win 21 major titles, US Open champion Medvedev can make history of his own.
A win on Sunday would see him become the first in the 55-season Open era to win his second major title in his next grand slam appearance.
Nadal beat Medvedev over five sets in the 2019 US Open final, Medvedev then losing to Djokovic in the Australian Open final last year before dominating him in the 2021 decider at Flushing Meadows.
"I'm going to play again against one of the greatest and what's funny that again I'm going to play someone going for their 21st slam," Medvedev said.
"Last time Rafa was watching (him beat Djokovic) and I think Novak will be watching this one in two days also."
Australian Associated Press