Indian Wells, CA, USA, 14 March 2018 |

When Lleyton Hewitt and Alex De Minaur sat down to talk to the ATP World Tour at Indian Wells, it was at the venue where De Minaur had enjoyed yet another breakthrough – his first main-draw win at an ATP Masters event.

The 19-year-old is currently ranked No.141 after a sizzling start to the 2018 season that saw him win seven of his first nine matches.

Hewitt said he’d been aware of De Minaur as the teenager was rising through the junior ranks but began playing closer attention during De Minaur’s run to the boys’ singles final at Wimbledon in 2016.

“The one thing that really impressed me was his work ethic,” Hewitt said.

Hewitt has begun working more closely with the rising star, and was in De Minaur’s entourage during the Australian summer of tennis when De Minaur reached the Brisbane semifinals and Sydney final.

“It’s crazy, looking at your corner and seeing him supporting you every part of the way,” De Minaur said.

“You sort of dream about this and now it’s actually happening.”

Many have drawn comparisons between their playing styles, with both Hewitt and De Minaur notable for their speed, consistency and fighting spirit.

Do they see any similarities?

“I still think I was quicker,” Hewitt laughed.

“Maybe (he was quicker) in his prime time,” De Minaur responded. “But that was a long time ago (laughter).”