- Bernard Tomic beats Alexandr Dolgopolov to set up a clash with Roger Federer
- The fourth-round contest will be the 1,000th ATP Tour match of Federer's career
- Second seed Rafael Nadal through in straight sets against Slovakia's Lukas Lacko
- World No. 7 Tomas Berdych and 10th seed Nicolas Almagro also advance
It could be the most eagerly-awaited match so far at this year's Australian Open. Rising teen star Bernard Tomic will take on one of the legends in men's tennis, Roger Federer, for a place in the quarterfinals.
The 19-year-old Tomic will have the weight of the host nation's expectations on his shoulders, having battled to an epic 4-6 7-6 (7-0) 7-6 (8-6) 2-6 6-3 win over Ukrainian 13th seed Alexandr Dolgopolov on Friday.
He reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon last year, where he lost to eventual winner and current No. 1 Novak Djokovic, but had never previously gone past round three in his home event.
"I looked up to him a lot. He was my idol. So to play him and have a feel for him in a match like this is good for me," Tomic said of Federer, who has won a record 16 grand slam titles.
"To me, he's the best player to play. I love watching Roger even on TV now and in the past, so it's good to get the opportunity to play him again."
Tomic played his 50th top-level match in his opening win over Spanish 22nd seed Fernando Verdasco, then ended the hopes of American Sam Querrey.
Former world No. 1 Federer, by contrast, will play his 1,000th ATP Tour match when they meet in the last 16 on Sunday.
The Swiss third seed, who beat Tomic in their only encounter in a Davis Cup match last year, advanced with a 7-6 (8-6) 7-5 6-3 win over big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic, ranked 57th.
"It's a lot matches," Federer said of the upcoming landmark. "How do I feel? I feel good. I feel healthy. I don't know if I can play another 1,000, but I feel like it's a lot of tennis.
"I would like to play a lot more, but it's quite a number ... I've had my share of tough losses and also my great wins, so a bit of both."
The 30-year-old is still some way short of Jimmy Connors' record total of 1,479 matches, being seventh on the list with an 813-186 tally. But he has double the American's total of grand slams.
If Federer beats Tomic he will be on course for a semifinal clash with longtime rival and world No. 2 Rafael Nadal, who won 6-2 6-4 6-2 against 119th-ranked Slovakian Lukas Lacko.
Nadal, a 10-time grand slam champion and a winner of this event in 2009, saw his match at the Rod Laver Arena briefly interrupted by a low-flying bird, but the Spaniard eventually progressed in just under two hours.
"I am playing well," said the second seed who, like Federer, is yet to drop a set this week. "If you are playing well, things can be a little bit less difficult. If you are playing bad, every match will be very, very difficult."
Nadal will next face his 2011 Davis Cup-winning teammate Feliciano Lopez. The 18th seed beat No. 16 John Isner 6-3 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 6-7 (0-7) 6-1 in a match which lasted three hours and 26 minutes and ended U.S. hopes in the men's draw.
Czech world No. 7 Tomas Berdych, a quarterfinalist in 2011, won 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-1) 6-1 against South African 30th seed Kevin Anderson to set up a match with Nicolas Almagro.
The Spanish 10th seed, who has reached the fourth round for the third year in a row, beat Swiss world No. 22 Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 6-4.
Argentina's 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro was rarely troubled as he dispatched Chinese Taipei's world No. 79 Yen-Hsun Lu 6-2 6-3 6-0.
The 11th seed will next play 41st-ranked German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who beat Colombian No. 71 Alejandro Falla 6-3 6-2 7-6 (7-3).