Lee Duck-hee made history at the Winston-Salem Open by becoming the first deaf tennis player to win a main-draw ATP Tour match.
The South Korean beat Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland in straight sets, hitting nine aces on his way to a 7-6, 6-1 victory.
The 21-year-old has qualified for the second round of the competition in North Carolina.
Lee was diagnosed as deaf at the age of two and communicates through lip-reading rather than sign language.
Signals and gestures are required for the player to be able to understand the officials’ calls on court.
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A story to remember! Duckhee Lee is making history as the first deaf professional tennis player on the @ATP_Tour. We had a chance to sit down with him to uncover this incredible story.💫— Winston-Salem Open (@WSOpen) August 19, 2019
(This content has been translated and paraphrased)
In a post match interview, Lee, ranked 212th in the world, explained he has had to prove people wrong to achieve his ATP Tour main-draw victory.
He said: "People made fun of me for my disability. They told me I shouldn't be playing. 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."
Lee will play third seed Hubert Hurkacz in the second round.
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