South Korean tennis player Lee Duck-hee has become the first deaf player to win a match in a final draw of an ATP tournament, after the Swiss Henri Laaksonen won 7-6 (4) and 6-1 in the first round of Winston-Salem (United States).
Duck-hee said his path was “difficult”, but his family’s help helped him through difficult times. “People laughed at my disability, they told me I shouldn’t be playing. I wanted to show everyone that I could do it. My message to those with a hearing disability is not to get discouraged. If you try hard, you can do anything,” he said. the South Korean in statements collected by the circuit website.
The 21-year-old tennis player was diagnosed with hearing impairment at just two years. During the matches he cannot listen to the instructions of the line judges or the chair judge, so he communicates with them through signs and gestures.