Duckhee Lee's rapid rise in tennis

Hearing impaired by birth, Duckhee Lee, 18, is making remarkable progress in international tennis. He's ranked 152 and seeded behind the Russian top-seed Evgeny Donskoy in the $ 50,000 KPIT-MSLTA Challenger.

duckhee lee tennis

Duckhee Lee (right), 18, hopes to be among the top-100 in the ATP list.   -  Special Arrangement

Korea’s Duckhee Lee is a rare journeyman in international tennis. Hearing impaired by birth, the 18-year-old is making remarkable progress in the ATP rankings. He's ranked 152 and seeded behind the Russian top-seed Evgeny Donskoy in the $ 50,000 KPIT-MSLTA Challenger being played at the Balewadi Sports Complex.

Lee, who arrived here yesterday, quelled the the 25-year-old Frenchman Hugo Nys, ranked 349 in the world, on Tuesday.

"He doesn’t care about his hearing impairment," says his coach Woo Chung, "On occasions he has problems in a match. He cannot make out the umpire’s calls; but he can feel vibrations. Every player when he hits the ball, usually he will know whether the ball would land in or out. So that’s not a big problem for him."

Lee went to elementary school in Jecheon and started playing tennis when he was seven.

"Because he could not near, his parents wanted him to play any sport," says Chung, "His ability in tennis is so good that he continued to play it and has progressed to the professional level. Sometimes it was difficult to play because he could not hear and hence had to remain more focused. Everything else is the same with him like other normal players, always working hard and trying. He has not undergone any special training."

"His father doesn’t like to talk. I am his second cousin. His mother and my mother are sisters. I live in Seoul and we meet at least ten times a year. I started to coach him two years ago and have been travelling with him and his father. I retired from tennis five months ago. I have played ITF events."

Lee, who's played the ITF Futures in India in 2013 hopes to be among the top-100 in the ATP list. "He’s very young. He has played the Davis Cup. He’s the second ranked player in Korea (after Hyeon Chung)."

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :