South Korea’s Duckhee Lee made history by becoming the first deaf player to win a main-draw ATP Tour match, defeating Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen 7-6 (4), 6-1 on Monday in the opening-round of the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Open.
Lee, 21, is ranked 212th in the world, having played almost exclusively on the second-tier Challenger Tour this year.
“My message for people who are hearing impaired is to not be discouraged,” Lee said, according to the ATP Tour’s website. “If you try hard, you can do anything.”
Andy Murray is trying hard, but he is still looking for his first singles victory of 2019 after losing 7-6 (8), 7-5 to the United States’ Tennys Sandgren in the first round at Winston-Salem.
The 32-year-old Scotsman won a first-round match at Brisbane, Australia, on Dec. 31, then lost in the second round and fell in the first round at the Australia Open later that month. He subsequently had hip surgery, and he didn’t resume singles action until last week, when he dropped his first-round match to France’s Richard Gasquet in Cincinnati.
Other first-round winners in the U.S. Open warmup event were American qualifier Bjorn Fratangelo, France’s Jeremy Chardy, Australia’s Alexei Popyrin and Spain’s Pablo Andujar and Roberto Carballes Baena. Italy’s Marco Cecchinato advanced when Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik retired while trailing 7-6 (3), 1-0.
–Field Level Media