Home / World / Sports / Lee Duck-hee becomes first deaf player to win ATP Tour main draw match

Lee Duck-hee becomes first deaf player to win ATP Tour main draw match

Lee Duck-hee
Lee Duck-hee faces Hubert Hurkacz in the second round

South Korea’s Lee Duck-hee has become the first deaf player to win a match in the main draw of a tournament on the ATP Tour.

“People made fun of me for my disability. They told me I shouldn’t be playing,” said Lee.

“I wanted to show everyone that I could do this.”

He added: “My message for people who are hearing impaired is to not be discouraged. If you try hard, you can do anything.”

Lee does not communicate with sign language but instead uses lip-reading.

During his post-match interview his fiancee Soopin assisted him, clarifying answers for reporters in English.

Britain’s Andy Murray is among players to have come out in support of Lee, adding it must be “difficult” to play without being able to “pick up the speed of the ball” by hearing the sound.

“It’s obviously a huge disadvantage, so to be able to do what he’s doing is a huge effort,” said the 32-year-old, who lost in the first round in North Carolina as he continues his return to singles action after injury.

“We [tennis players] use our ears a lot to pick things up.”

Lee, who faces third seed Hubert Hurkacz in the next round, played his first ATP Challenger Tour event aged 14.

He played mainly in Asia before switching to hard courts in the US, reaching his first final in three years at Little Rock in June.

About Oluwadamilare Funsho

Check Also

Saudi Cup: Female jockeys ‘most welcome’ at new $27m race meeting

Nicola Currie is a potential rider at the Saudi Cup, trainer Jamie Osborne has indicated …

Leave a Reply