Aslan Karatsev is the unlikely protagonist of an unfolding Australian Open fairytale but Grigor Dimitrov has no plans of becoming the next slain giant left in the Russian's wake.
In his grand-slam main-draw debut, world No.114 Karatsev accounted for eighth seed Diego Schwartzman in the third round, then outlasted 20th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in a five-setter.
The unfancied 27-year-old then declared he was "ready for everyone" - before 18th seed Dimitrov thrashed Dominic Thiem to put himself firmly in Karatsev's sights.
Dimitrov will go from beating the world No.3 to facing a once-unheralded qualifier - but the Bulgarian said his quarter-final opponent's less-sparkling resume was irrelevant when push came to shove.
"Like all sort of the top players if you think about it, it takes time for everyone to get to somewhere, but the best part is that you treat every player the same way, and I will treat this match with no difference," Dimitrov said.
"I will still go through my routines. I'm still going to do my work.
"It's just honestly another match. I'm not going to think of what the guy has done, what he has accomplished or what is going on."
A player long comfortable mixing it with the best, Dimitrov has reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park, Roland Garros and Flushing Meadows - but is yet to go further than that.
While he is just two wins away from a maiden grand slam final appearance, Dimitrov had no plans of underestimating an opponent whose every major win is a new personal best.
Even Karatsev has been surprised by his rapid ascent - though he joked after his fourth-round triumph that he tried not to show as much, instead considering his Melbourne Park campaign the reward for years of slogging it out.
"Clearly in order for him to be here, he's done something right, and he's playing great tennis right now," Dimitrov said.
"Of course he's a dangerous player. You're entering deep into the second week, it's a quarter-final match of a grand slam.
"You don't take any of that lightly, and I think it should never affect anything coming in your head to that extent.
"Just focus on your side of the net, focus on your game plan, control what you can on your end and then progress through."
Australian Associated Press