Holger Rune on Monday became the first Danish man in 65 years to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals and insisted he is "not afraid" to face anybody, even world number one and close friend Carlos Alcaraz.
World number six Rune came back from a set and a break down to defeat Grigor Dimitrov 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/4), 6-3.
He will next tackle Alcaraz in the last eight after the top seed defeated 2021 runner-up Matteo Berrettini in his fourth-round clash.
"I am not afraid, I am excited," said Rune, who was supported on Court One by Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik.
Rune is just seven days older than Alcaraz and they have been friends since their junior days.
When they were 12, they even played doubles and reached the semi-finals of a boys event.
"I think he's the same, just so much better now. I think back then he was Carlos, now he's still Carlos," said Rune.
"He's the same, just improved a lot and very quickly."
Rune hopes one day they can play doubles again even if they may get in each other's way.
"When a singles player plays doubles, they want to cover the court by themselves. We both try and did that a little bit, which is fun.
"Again, it was good, because he's amazing."
As professionals on the ATP Tour, they have met just twice.
Alcaraz came out on top at the 2021 NextGen Finals before the Dane gained revenge at the Paris Masters last year when his rival retired from their quarter-final with an injury.
"I remember I first saw Holger when we were 12," said US Open champion Alcaraz.
"So I'm really excited about this match."
Rune, already a two-time quarter-finalist at the French Open, had been just two points from defeat in the previous round before seeing off Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in five sets.
On Monday, Dimitrov, the 24th-ranked Bulgarian who made the semi-finals in 2014, pocketed the first set after carving out a key break in the eighth game.
The veteran was a break ahead early in the second set, which 20-year-old Rune retrieved in the eighth game.
He levelled the match in the tiebreak.
After securing the third set, also on a tiebreak, Rune broke for 4-2 in the fourth courtesy of back-to-back double faults by Dimitrov.
Rune wrapped up the match, becoming the first Dane since Kurt Nielsen in 1958 to make the quarter-finals when Dimitrov pushed a weary backhand wide.
"Grigor is an amazing player, he pushed me to the limit," said Rune after a performance in which he fired 11 aces and 46 winners in total.
"It was a crazy match, tough and long. But I always fight to the end.
"I kept telling myself that Wimbledon is only once a year and that I have to fight to have any chance of winning."