Kazakhstan star Yulia Putintseva has knocked off Bernard Tomic as the biggest brat at the Australian Open when she finished off her flurry of disrespect with a middle-finger salute to the Melbourne Park crowd.

The 24-year-old was knocked out of the women's singles draw in a heated, rollercoaster 7-5 4-6 6-2 loss to Belinda Bencic on Wednesday evening β€” and she was lobbing grenades at the crowd assembled on Court 20 on her way out.

Yulia Putintseva beat Belinda Bencic in the second round at Melbourne Park. Photo / Getty
Yulia Putintseva beat Belinda Bencic in the second round at Melbourne Park. Photo / Getty

Fresh from her opening day handshake drama with bitter rival Barbora Strycova β€” which went viral around the globe β€” Putintseva created more feisty drama following her second round loss.

Putintseva was spotted by reporters courtside at the match scolding the local crowd as she left the court and then waved her middle finger at one group of supporters.

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It is unclear why Putintseva felt so aggrieved by her reception from the Melbourne Park faithful, but the atmosphere of her encounter with Bencic has been described as a "wild ride" riddled with vocal crowd interaction.

Clearly, Putintseva wasn't pleased.

It has further cemented her new position as the biggest brat in tennis after she only three days ago set tongues wagging around the world with her cold encounter with Strycova.

Putintseva, the World No. 39 from Kazakhstan, won the match 6-4 7-6 (7-1) in one hour and 55 minutes but the on-court action played second fiddle to the immediate aftermath of their match when the pair met at the net.

As the two players came together the ritual didn't exactly go to plan, leaving both of them less than impressed.

It was far from the sporting gesture the post-match handshake is supposed to represent.

Yulia Putintseva has a history of questionable on-court behaviour. Photo / Getty
Yulia Putintseva has a history of questionable on-court behaviour. Photo / Getty

In a powerplay US President Donald Trump would be proud of, Strycova accused her opponent of trying to act like the top dog even after she'd already scored the most important victory of all on the scoreboard.

"I like to squeeze hand normal, but she squeezed me, like, hardcore! These bones β€” oww! Oww!" Strycova said afterwards.

"I was like, 'Why'd you do that?' She said, 'You squeezed my hand.' I said, 'I squeezed your hand normal! Just let it be.'

"I didn't really care. It's nothing big. Just, why?"

Incredibly, the Melbourne Park handshake drama is just the latest in a long-running series of handshake feuds the pair share with WTA Tour rivals.

Strycova famously engaged in some weird skin-on-skin action with Elina Svitolina at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo in 2014. Not happy with the limp offering she received, Strycova taught the Ukrainian a lesson in the importance of always dishing up a firm, proper handshake.

Playing at the Citi Open in Washington in 2016, the umpire in her clash with Varvara Flink refused to shake hands because Putintseva had complained so often during the match.

Putintseva has made headlines for her handshake technique too. And in 2017 Putintseva didn't even look at Magda Linette after the Polish star defeated her in three sets at the Volvo Open in Charleston.