Kiwi doubles player Michael Venus is facing a mouthwatering quarter-final clash against hometown hero Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open.
Venus and German partner Tim Puetz today progressed through to the last eight of the men's doubles in the easiest possible fashion.
The sixth seeds received a walkover win over Australian wildcards Jason Kubler and Chris O'Connell after O'Connell injured his hip during his third-round singles loss on Saturday and had to withdraw.
Venus and Puetz will now face another Aussie wildcard pair in the fourth round, with the high-profile Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis tonight booking a spot to face the Kiwi and German duo on Tuesday.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis upset top seeds Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic to reach the third round and then advanced with a three-set win over the 15th seeds Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar.
The Aussie pair's victory over Pavic and Mektic came with some off-court drama as Kyrgios later said his opponents' coach and trainer threatened to fight him and Kokkinakis following their shock upset.
Kyrgios wrote on Twitter: "Just letting you know after yesterday's chop fest in doubles my opponents coach and trainer proceeded to threaten to fight in the players gym.
"Tennis is a soft soft sport @TKokkinakis all because I moved and hit them with a tennis ball."
The top seeds had been frustrated throughout the match by the rowdy atmosphere, one Venus will now have to contend with. His status as a New Zealander will no doubt further antagonise the locals, who have offered Kyrgios vociferous support throughout the tournament.
Venus, who with Marcus Daniell won bronze in the men's doubles to the Tokyo Olympics, will also tomorrow team up with fellow Kiwi Erin Routliffe for their second-round mixed doubles match against Puetz and Alexa Guarachi.