It was inevitable that at some point in his ATP career Jack Sock would meet his close friend and doubles partner Vasek Pospisil across the other side of the net.
But the unavoidable nature of that showdown didn't make today's second round ASB Classic meeting any easier for the rising US tennis star.
Sock blitzed his way through to a quarterfinal showdown with fourth seed Kevin Anderson with a 6-2 6-4 win over Pospisil. Despite the comfortable scoreline, Sock said he felt anything but taking on his good mate.
"It was tough playing one of my really good friends on tour and obviously doubles partner throughout the year. It was my first time playing him and it was pretty difficult," said the 23 year-old, further enhancing his nice-guy image following his headline grabbing act of sportsmanship at last week's Hopman Cup. Sock endeared himself to sports fans around the world when he suggested opponent Lleyton Hewitt contest a line call that had incorrectly been judged in Sock's favour.
Sock and Canadian Pospisil have formed a strong doubles partnership over the past couple of seasons, winning the 2014 doubles title at Wimbledon. They also have regular hit-outs against one another on the training court.
"We've practised together a lot so patterns-wise with serving and things we know both each other pretty well," said Sock.
"I've obviously watched him play a bunch over the last few years and seen him play some really good tennis, but I think today the conditions were a little bit tough and maybe I managed them a little bit better."
Sock and Pospisil plan to pair up in the doubles at next week's Australian Open in Melbourne - "if he's still talking to me," the out-going American joked.
While the swirling winds on centre court made conditions tough for Sock today, he said he was happy with the way his serve held up and the progress made from his opening round win over Dominican Victor Estrella Burgos.
"I feel pretty good on my game, I know what I want to do out there to hopefully be successful against these guys - I just need to make sure I concentrate on that, especially against a guy like [Anderson].
"He broke into the top 10 for the first time last year so I will need to be on my game against him if I am going to move forward tomorrow."