The South Korean tennis professional, Duck-hee Lee created history by becoming the first hearing-impaired ATP player to win a main draw match at Winston-Salem Open 2019. He lost his second-round match to the third seed, Hubert Hurkacz in three sets.
Yesterday, the ATP Tour conducted an interactive online question and answer session where the tennis followers could interact with Duck-hee Lee. He was asked about his favorite player on Tour or who does he look up to.
“I have to pick just one? I started playing because I wanted to be like Roger Federer and love his playing style,” Lee replied. “I also admire Rafael Nadal‘s passion, Novak Djokovic‘s fairness, Andy Murray‘s effort & Kei Nishikori for how he represents Asia.”
He believes his hearing inability to be a blessing in disguise, which allows him to pay more attention to the tennis ball and there are fewer distractions for him during a tennis match. “I think not being able to hear actually helps me. It means I have to concentrate more and try harder,” Lee said.
Duck-hee Lee was asked about his coaching regimes and how does he manage when he needs to interact with the chair umpire in the midst of the match. “I think that we can read each other’s minds. But when my team is not around, we text each other. I don’t usually need to communicate with the umpire except for ‘in’ and ‘out’ calls, so that can be frustrating,” he answered.
The South Korean tennis professional has many friends on Tour and faces no difficulty in traveling. “I don’t think I have trouble making friends. There are a lot of other Korean players that I’m friends with, so I don’t ever feel lonely,” he mentioned.
One of the tennis followers wanted to know about his superstitious activities on the Tour. “I will wear the same clothes I win in and not wear the same clothes I lose in,” Lee replied. “When I’m angry or frustrated, I try to close my eyes and breathe deeply. I try to talk to myself and say that I can do it.”
Off the tennis court, Lee plays online games and watches cartoons. Sometimes he engages himself in offline games like bingo and baseball.