“I beat him a few years ago and he came up to me with a Google translator after the match and said, ‘What are my weaknesses?’ Tennys Sandgren told ATP Tour. “For someone who’s deaf and doesn’t speak English well at all, to put yourself out there like that… I wouldn’t do it! It was really cool.”
Andy Murray also commented on Lee’s incredible tennis skills when he spoke with ATP Tour.
“If I was to play with headphones on, it’s unbelievably difficult to pick up the speed of the ball, the spin that’s coming off the racquet… We use our ears a lot to pick things up,” added Andy Murray. “It’s obviously a huge disadvantage, so to be able to do what he’s doing is a huge effort.”
A win to remember
Lee will always remember his first ATP-level victory, not just because of the result, but because he was two points away from winning when thunderstorms postponed the match for nearly five hours. The delay had Lee and Laakonsen returning to the court at roughly 10:15 p.m. Luckily, the match only last another 87 seconds when Lee took home the win.
In June, just before his win at Winston-Salem, he reached his first ATP Challenger Tour final in nearly three years in Little Rock.
Lee, unfortunately, lost his second-round match in North Carolina on Tuesday against third seed Hubert Hurkacz, but not before winning the first set 6-4. Despite the recent loss, Lee looks to soon break the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings.
“Don’t be discouraged and if you try hard, you can do anything, you can achieve anything you want,” Lee said through an interpreter to The Guardian. He also said that he “doesn’t want people to get discouraged and get down about their disability”.