Daniil Medvedev regrets the on-court outburst he knows could have cost him his own shot at tennis history.
But he also remembers how "insanely crazy" he once was and reckons he's savoured his wild ride into a second-straight Australian Open final.
The tournament's pantomime villain began his act in a rowdy second round date with Nick Kyrgios and has relished the love-hate relationship with the crowd ever since.
And he added his best chapter yet on Friday night, before eventually beating world No.4 Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-4 6-1.
Russia's world no.2 launched an incredible tirade at the chair umpire, adamant that Tsitsipas's father and coach Apostolos was giving his son illegal advice between points.
He screamed at the experienced Jaume Campistol, asking if he was "mad" and "stupid" and if "his father can talk every point?".
"If you don't (issue a code violation) you are - how can I call it? - a small cat," he said before storming off court after losing the second set.
Medvedev, who again won the crowd back with another cheeky on-court interview after his win, admits in that moment he thought he'd made a huge mistake.
"I think we can say it was funny, but I was definitely out of my mind," he said.
"I was not controlling myself any more about anything, and that's actually why I'm really happy to win ... you lose your concentration a lot when you get in these heat of the moment things.
"I was like, 'oh, my God, I'm just completely losing the fibre of this match' ... I'm so happy that I managed to catch it really fast."
Medvedev talked down his accusations, admitting he was annoyed to lose his serve and that Tsitsipas wasn't "cheating" but that the chair umpire had no way of knowing what his opponent's father was telling his charge.
Medvedev can now become the first man in 55 Open seasons to win a second major title in his next grand slam appearance.
He'll face Rafael Nadal in Sunday's final, one of the coolest customers in tennis history who happens to be chasing a record 21st grand slam title.
"He's like the perfect guy, you know," Medvedev said.
"I'm actually really respectful to players who never, almost never, show their emotions because it's tough, it's tough.
"I can get really emotional. I have been working on it ... if we look back at myself five years ago when I started playing ... there was less attention on me, but I was just insanely crazy.
"So I do regret it 100 per cent, but again, in the heat of the moment, I just lost it."
Australian Associated Press
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