Lee Duck-hee from South Korea becomes the world’s first to win an ATP main draw match as a hearing-impaired player. Lee beat Henri Laaksonen 7-6 (4), 6-1 in the first round at Winston-Salem Open. Lee couldn’t hear the line judges or the umpire and has to rely on the sign gestures and signals. For somebody diagnosed as deaf at the age of two, it is no mean feat to win a match at such a level.
Lee Duck-hee admits that people used to mock him and discouraged him not to try his hand in such an enduring sport like tennis.
“It was definitely difficult, but my friends and family helped me get through. I wanted to show everyone that I could do this,” he said. “My message for people who are hearing impaired is to not be discouraged. If you try hard, you can do anything.”