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Duckhee Lee, first deaf tennis player to win an ATP match

Duckhee Lee, first deaf tennis player to win an ATP match

Winston Salem’s ATP 250, a tournament that prepares for the US Open, the last Grand Slam of the season that begins next Monday, already has its hero: South Korean Duckhee Lee, the first deaf player in win an ATP match.

“People made fun of me for my disability. They told me that I should not be playing, “said the player, 212 of the world, in an interview for the official media of the ATP, after beating the Swiss Henri Laaksonen in the first round by 7-6 (4) and 6-1.

“My message to the hearing impaired is not to be discouraged. If you try hard, you can do anything, “he added later at a press conference in which a volunteer served as a translator, transferring questions in English to Lee’s girlfriend Soopin.

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During matches, Lee cannot hear the lines of the linesmen or the referee, and relies on signals and gestures to obtain information that is normal for the rest of the players.

The reactions of his circuit mates did not wait afterwards. “You learn a lot about how your opponent hits the ball based on the sound of the shot. If you can’t hear it, you have to have incredible skill and talent, ”said American Tennys Sandgreen.

“If I had to play with headphones on, it is incredibly difficult to increase the speed of the ball, the spin that comes out of the racket. We use our ears a lot to process all of that. Obviously it is a great disadvantage, so being able to do what he is doing is a great effort, “said Andy Murray.

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Win or lose this Tuesday against the Polish Hubert Hurkacz, Lee has written a story of overcoming, a week before the big event in New York. EFE.

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