Nick Kyrgios will face top seed Rafael Nadal in the last 16 at the Australian Open after an "insane" five-set win over Karen Khachanov, reports BBC. Kyrgios, who missed match points in the third and fourth sets, won 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (6-8) 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (10-8).
The Australian, 24, needed nearly four-and-a-half hours to win a tense third-round match against the Russian - having led by two sets and a break. But he came through in a final-set tie-break at a boisterous Melbourne Arena. "That's one of the best wins of my career. It was insane," Kyrgios said.
Kyrgios leads 2-1 in his head-to-head record on hard courts against Nadal, with whom he has rarely seen eye-to-eye. The pair, who will meet at Melbourne Park on Monday, last faced each other on grass at Wimbledon in July when 19-time Grand Slam champion Nadal won in four sets.
The Spanish top seed, 33, cruised past compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1 6-2 6-4 in his third-round match earlier on Saturday. The world number one wrapped up a straightforward win about seven hours earlier than Kyrgios, whose brutal contest against Khachanov lasted for four hours and 26 minutes.
"I'm not thinking about that [playing Nadal] - I'm just thinking about my legs and getting them into an ice bath," Kyrgios said on court, as he struggled to speak after his victory. Kyrgios has previously described Nadal as "super salty", while Nadal has been visibly irritated by the Australian's erratic on-court behaviour in the past.
To add further spice to a highly-anticipated blockbuster, Kyrgios cheekily mocked Nadal's superstitious service routine in his second-round win over France's Gilles Simon. The prospect of another meeting between Kyrgios and Nadal has been a tantalising one since the Australian Open draw was made nine days ago.