The Swiss fourth seed marched on to claim the match 7-6(2) 6-4 6-3 to remain on course for a second title in Melbourne – but it was the frank discussion that will grab the headlines.
So what did they say?
The awkward transcript…
Wawrinka: "What did you say? It was you who looked at me and spoke to me. What are you looking for? Go ahead, it's good. Did I look at you once?"
Tsonga: "Of course."
Tsonga: "Right now."
Wawrinka: "You're looking at me! It's a tennis game, you have to calm down. It's a tennis game, relax a little."
Tsonga: "There's no worry."
Wawrinka: "Do your thing, I do my thing, and it'll be fine."
Highlights: Wawrinka sees off Tsonga in tense encounter
They have history…
Their relationship has been frayed ever since Wawrinka triumphed at the Australian Open in 2014. When asked about the 31-year-old’s triumph, Tsonga said he deserved a Grand Slam too and wouldn’t swap his career for the new champion’s.
Later that year, France met Switzerland in the Davis Cup final. Wawrinka toppled Tsonga in Switzerland’s 3-1 win, but it was the former’s conduct that caused most consternation.
Wawrinka claimed the French were talking too much about the final, and said after his win over Tsonga: "I thought I was the stronger player on the court. I'm not No. 4 for nothing." Feeling aggrieved, members of the French team reportedly confronted Wawrinka in a bathroom during the official tournament dinner.
France captain Arnaud Clement later praised Roger Federer for his “class on the court and in the media”. He made no mention of Wawrinka.
Does it matter?
Not really. It’s hardly surprising tempers flared.
With Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic already out in Melbourne, both players had realistic ambitions of winning the tournament. How many more chances will Wawrinka get to win a fourth Grand Slam, given he’s 31? Meanwhile, this was probably Tsonga’s best chance to win his first.
They're competitors. Nothing nasty was said. Let’s move on…