Italy’s Sinner, 18, One Match Away From US Open Main Draw

#NextGenATP Italian Jannik Sinner, 18, is on the verge of qualifying for his first Grand Slam. The teenager fought past 28-year-old Croatian Viktor Galovic 4-6, 7-6(2), 7-5 in two hours, 49 minutes to move into the third and final round of US Open qual…

Paire Overcomes Humbert; Shapovalov, Tiafoe Advance

Top seed Benoit Paire of France held off the Next Generation of French talent on Wednesday at the Winston-Salem Open, but just barely.
#NextGenATP Frenchman Ugo Humbert, 21, served for the match at 6-5 in the second set, but Paire broke and rolled in t…

Spain’s Martinez Upsets Home Favourite In US Open Qualifying

Spain’s Pedro Martinez earned the upset of the day on Wednesday at US Open qualifying. The 22-year-old from Alzira stunned 10th seed Tommy Paul of the U.S. 6-4, 6-4 to make the last round of qualifying at the season’s final Grand Slam tournament.
Mar…

Shapovalov, Tiafoe, Kecmanovic Lead #NextGenATP In Winston-Salem

#NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov overcame a second-set surge from Tennys Sandgren on Tuesday to advance past the second round of a tour-level event for the first time since May (Lyon).
Shapovalov played one of his best sets in months in the open…

#NextGenATP Sinner Dominates In Slam Qualifying Debut

Jannik Sinner could not have asked for a better birthday present. Just four days after turning 18, the surging Italian star made the most of his Grand Slam qualifying debut.
Sinner was dominant in dismissing countryman Matteo Viola 6-1, 6-0 in 47 minut…

Sandgren Downs Murray In Winston-Salem

Andy Murray isn’t one for moral victories, but the Scot should be encouraged by his first-round match at the Winston-Salem Open, even if it ended in a loss.
American Tennys Sandgren beat Murray 7-6(8), 7-5 to advance to the second round at the ATP 25…

Duckhee Lee Breaks Ground For Deaf Athletes In Winston-Salem

As a child, Duckhee Lee was discouraged by others to pursue his dreams of being a professional tennis player. The 21-year-old South Korean firmly proved his naysayers wrong on Monday at the Winston-Salem Open, defeating Henri Laaksonen 7-6(4), 6-1 to become the first deaf player to win an ATP Tour main draw match.

“People made fun of me for my disability. They told me I shouldn’t be playing,” said Lee. “It was definitely difficult, but my friends and family helped me get through. I wanted to show everyone that I could do this.

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

 

The basic aspects of a tennis match that players take for granted are things that Lee, who was diagnosed as deaf at age two, has never relied on. He can’t hear line calls or the score being called, forcing him to rely on signals from the umpire or people on his team.

When a scoreboard malfunction at 5-1 in the second set showed him up 40/15 when the score was actually 30/15, Lee was unable to communicate his score question to the umpire or understand the chair umpire’s responses. Both men found themselves at a brief standstill, unsure of how to proceed. A tournament volunteer then held up three fingers to indicate “30,” which he understood.

Read: Lee Overcomes Disability To Succeed (July 2015)

Lee does not know sign language because he was taught to read lips in Korean as a child. However, his speech isn’t always clear to native speakers. During his post-match interview, a tournament volunteer translated English questions in Korean to his fiancee, Soopin, and she gave them to Lee. He then responded to Soopin, who clarified the answers in Korean to the translator, and the final response was fed to local reporters in English.

But Lee’s success as a professional has been much more seamless. He played his first ATP Challenger Tour event at age 14 and has remained a staple at that level for the past four years. After playing almost exclusively in Asia until now, his hard-court swing in the United States has paid dividends. Prior to his Winston-Salem breakthrough, he reached his first ATP Challenger Tour final in nearly three years this June in Little Rock.

“I ate the spaghetti here and loved it,” said Lee, smiling. “I think that America has a good environment. Everything seems to fit well for me, so I’ve been having fun.”

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The fun will continue on Tuesday when he meets third seed Hubert Hurkacz. But while the opportunity is the biggest of his young career as he looks to soon crack the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings, his approach will remain the same.

“I’m going to go to the match with the same attitude,” said Lee. “I’m going to do my best and see what happens.”

Duckhee Lee On Verge Of History In Winston-Salem

Trailblazing South Korean Duckhee Lee has defied the odds throughout his life. The 21-year-old is two points away from breaking new ground once again by becoming the first deaf player to win an ATP Tour main draw match.

Lee led Swiss Henri Laaksonen 7-6(4), 5-1, 30/15 on Monday at the Winston-Salem Open before showers halted play.

Read: Lee Overcomes Disability To Succeed (July 2015)

More to follow…

UPDATED SCHEDULE – MONDAY, AUGUST 19, 2019 (as of 7:53pm ET)

CENTER COURT start 8:30 pm
T. Sandgren (USA) vs [WC] A. Murray (GBR) 
T. Fabbiano (ITA) vs A. Rublev (RUS) 

COURT 2 start 8:30 pm
T. Monteiro (BRA) vs A. Popyrin (AUS) 75 46 23
[Q] R. Sarmiento (USA) vs J. Chardy (FRA) 00
A. Hoang (FRA) vs [Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH) 

COURT 3 start 8:30 pm
D. Lee (KOR) vs H. Laaksonen (SUI) 76(4) 51
[Q] M. Giron (USA) vs R. Carballes Baena (ESP) 
[PR] A. Weintraub (ISR) vs [Q] B. Fratangelo (USA)

Chung Marches On, Kwon Battles Through In US Open Qualifying

Last January, 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals champion Hyeon Chung made his biggest breakthrough yet by reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open. When the US Open rolled around, he was No. 23 in the ATP Rankings, making him a seeded player in the main …

Berdych, Harris Advance On Day One In Winston-Salem

Tomas Berdych won his first tour-level match since February on Sunday at the Winston-Salem Open, beating Italy’s Andreas Seppi 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. The former World No. 4, a wild-card entry into the ATP 250 tournament, last won at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis…

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