(CNN) — As a kid, people used to make fun of Duckhee Lee, telling him he shouldnt be playing baseball.
On Monday the West proved the doubters wrong by being the first deaf player to win a match in the main draw of the ATP Tour.
The 21-year-old, rated 212 from the world, saw off world No. 120 Henri Laaksonen 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 in the Winston-Salem Open at North Carolina.
People made fun of me to my disability. They told me that I should not be enjoying with, Lee told me. It was certainly difficult, but my friends and family helped me get through. I wanted to show everyone that I was able to do this.
My concept for folks who are hearing impaired is to not be deterred. Should you try hard, it is possible to do anything
As stated by the ATP Tour website Lee — diagnosed as deaf aged two — can not hear the score being known which means he has to rely onto his team on signals from individuals or your umpire or lineup calls.
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Taught to lipread in Korean as a young kid, the right-hander does not know sign language.
A tournament volunteer translated questions in Korean to Lees fiancee, Soopin, that served as a conduit between Lee and reporters.
Three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray praised Lee for his accomplishment.
When I had been to play with headphones , its unbelievably tough to find out the speed of the ball, then the spin that is coming off the racquet. We utilize our ears a lot to pick up things, the former world No.1 was quoted as saying about the ATP Tour website.
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Its obviously a massive drawback, so to be in a position to do what he is doing is a massive work.
Lee will play Polands Hubert Hurkacs Tuesday in the second round and told reporters:Im going to visit the game with the same attitude. I am going to do my best and see what happens.
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