Daniil Medvedev was supposed to be the villain after beating Alex De Minaur in the Sydney final, but he won over fans with a brilliant victory speech.
De Minaur's remarkable Sydney International run came to an end on Saturday night, falling to Daniil Medvedev in a marathon three-set final.
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The Australian teen sensation fought back from 4-0 down in a heart-stopping deciding set and saved a match point under immense pressure at Sydney Olympic Park.
But the stubborn Russian qualifier won the mental battle, eventually wearing the local favourite down to prevail 1-6 6-4 7-5 in two hours and 12 minutes.
The crowd could have been forgiven for giving Medvedev a frosty reception during the post-match presentation, but he had them in hysterics with his victory speech.
As you can see above, he started off by apologising to the fans for ruining De Minaur's fairytale run, before finishing up with a cheeky crack at authority that his girlfriend wasn't allowed in the country.
The packed crowd cracked up a number of times during the speech, with Medvedev delighting them with his sense of humour and cheeky grin.
Next to nothing has stopped de Minaur this year. Before this event, he had won 11 of 12 matches and claimed six top-50 victims along the way.
Another in Sydney would have been a momentous occasion to savour, a first piece of silverware to reward the 18-year-old's breakout fortnight.
It would have made him the youngest player to win the Australian Open tune-up tournament in almost two decades, since his mentor Lleyton Hewitt achieved the feat at the same age.
Still, Saturday's showdown was another demonstration of shot selection and composure well beyond de Minaur's years, while his opponent, the 21-year-old Medvedev, produced some breathtaking winners at crucial points to cement himself as a rising star.
"It's amazing," Medvedev said.
"I'm the kind of person, the more emotions I feel the less I show them, especially if they are good ones.
"After the match, I didn't fall down or anything, but I'm really happy."
As it stands, world No.167 de Minaur is the lowest-ranked Sydney finalist since No.223 Andrei Cherkasov in 1989.
That ranking is soon set to rise to No.127 as he embarks on an Australian Open campaign starting against Tomas Berdych.