Canít speak, canít hear but Hee rules the tennis courts
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Speech and hearing-impaired tennis sensation Lee Duck Hee has been doing well for South Korea in the junior circuit and has become a talking point because of his talent. On Saturday morning, the 15-year-old player was at his best as he overpowered second seed Skander Mansouri of Tunisia in three sets to claim the India ITF I (Grade 3) Junior Tennis Tournament at the Sector 10 Tennis Stadium in Chandigarh.
Lee Duck Hee took to the sport at seven as a hobby, but now is seen as a tennis star. Ranked seven in the ITF-juniors ranking, Lee hopes to emulate his idol, Roger Federer.
Due to his speech and hearing impairment, he gets his playing instructions from his coach by reading his lips. Speaking about Hee, his coach, Park Kyung Heoon, said: "He understands my instructions and follows them in a proper manner. By now we have understood each other well. It is not really difficult to coach him like that, I guess when you spend time with someone then you are able to make him understand your point and also understand his. He has never allowed this to affect his game. He works very hard on his game and fitness in order to be the best. Today he was amazing on the court. Everything is fine with him but he loses his mental control in the match at the crucial stage as he is not able to cope up with the critical circumstances. But he is picking up."
Talking to Newsline about his meeting with his hero Federer, Lee Duck narrated, "I met Federer in Korea sometime ago. It was unbelievable. I wish to be like him one day. I enjoy the game a lot and I am working hard to improve my rankings. Tennis is my life. It was nice to win in Chandigarh despite extreme chilly weather. My father is my inspiration. He has given me great moral support throughout and accompanies me on every tour. It is because of him that I am playing tennis."