Daniil Medvedev appeared to be determined to become the villain of this year's Australian Open, taking the mantle from Novak Djokovic. The Russian rubbed the crowd the wrong way throughout the past two weeks, and took things to another level when he insulted Tennis Australia officials during the awarding ceremony.

It was an epic five-set battle that went in favour of Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who was the darling of the Melbourne crowd. Nadal lifted his record-extending 21st men's singles Grand Slam title on Sunday, to the delight of the partisan audience in Melbourne park.

After a gruelling match that lasted over five hours, Medvedev was clearly eager to get the formalities over and done with. The two finalists stood behind the stage waiting to be called to receive their trophies, and Medvedev was seen making faces and mouthing "boring" as Tennis Australia chair Jane Hrdlicka took the stage to praise him over his achievement. "Daniil, you have had the most extraordinary tournament. You have found yourself in tough spots on the way here. You have demonstrated you're never finished and you were never finished until the very last point. Congratulations on a great tournament," she said, while the camera showed the Russian looking impatient behind her.

It was a shockingly disrespectful act, and the crowd was not happy. When he finally took the microphone as he received his award, Medvedev made things even worse by mentioning Novak Djokovic and the Serb's rivalry with Nadal. A large number of Australians would much rather not hear about last year's winner, after he nearly overshadowed the event when he was deported.

It was a bit of a circus that stemmed from Djokovic refusing to get vaccinated, trying to get an exemption to play in the tournament anyway, and sharing false details in his travel declaration. He eventually got his visa cancelled twice, and the decision was a polarising situation worldwide. There was an awkward reaction from the crowd when Medvedev mentioned Djokovic for the nth time, with many unable to believe how many times the Russian put his foot in his mouth throughout the event.

Today host Ally Langdon did not mince her words when she described the Russian's behaviour and the Melbourne crowd's animosity towards him. "You can almost feel sorry for the Russian. He's the tournament villain and he plays the part pretty well. We've seen him in each round, he's had a blow up or something. With Nick Kyrgios, he accused the crowd of having a low IQ," she said, adding that the crowd did not like how Medvedev verbally abused the chair umpire during his match against Stefanos Tsitsipas, calling him a "small cat."

"And then of course last night - he hates Melbourne. And for I think obvious reasons. Melbourne's not too fond of him either," she said.

In his post-match press conference, Medvedev slammed the crowd once more for only calling each other out to be quiet for Nadal's serves. "A thousand people would be like, 'Tsss, tsss, tsss'. That sound. Before my serve, I didn't hear it,' he said.

Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev
Rafael Nadal reacts after beating Daniil Medvedev over an epic five sets in the Australian Open final AFP / William WEST