Daniil Medvedev has described both himself and US Open fourth-round opponent Nick Kyrgios as "electric", but says the pair share more "respect" than friendship.
The world number one will continue his men's single title defence against the Australian in the last 16 at Flushing Meadows after a 6-4 6-2 6-2 Win over China's Wu Yibing.
The pair are set to meet for the fifth time on the ATP Tour, with Kyrgios holding an impressive 3-1 record over the Russian in their previous four encounters, including in the final of the 2019 Citi Open.
But Medvedev defeated the former on home turf at the Australian Open earlier this year, in arguably the biggest clash between the duo.
Speaking ahead of the pair's encounter, Medvedev stressed he does not see the pair as friends, but he has strong admiration for his opponent's game and is impressed at how he has revived his fortunes this year.
"I don't think we are friends," he added. "I feel like we respect each other a lot. We are both quite electric. You never know what's going to happen in the future
"Nick is a little bit different from other tennis players on the court. That's his choice. That's his life. I'm not the one to judge. I feel a lot of respect for him."
Asked if he is surprised at Kyrgios' improved form following a first grand slam final this year at Wimbledon, Medvedev added: "To be honest, yes.
"We all knew that he's capable of doing big things. We always knew on [his] day, he is capable of beating anyone.He [has] proved it many times, against the biggest players in the world."
Kyrgios, meanwhile, is relishing another battle on a big occasion, adding that his attempts to seize victory against the odds of public opinion allow him to "thrive".
"You want to be in those moments," he said. "I want to be playing on the biggest stadiums in the world in front of millions of people broadcasted globally. That's where I want to be. That is why I work hard.
"It makes it even sweeter. I know a lot of people don't want me to succeed. I know a lot of people hate my game, the way I do things, the way I go about it. I always thrive on it. I never want to forget all the things people say.
"I always carry this chip on my shoulder. Win or lose, I'm proud of how far I've come. I think that's where every tennis player wants to be, playing the best players in the world in the best stadiums in the world."