British tennis player sues three papers.


Lawyers representing a British tennis player yesterday began libel proceedings against three media organisations following the publication of stories claiming that the 21-year-old was the world's worst professional in his sport.

Lawyers representing a British tennis player yesterday began libel proceedings against three media organisations following the publication of stories claiming that the 21-year-old was the world’s worst professional in his sport.

Libel writs have been lodged at London’s high court against Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers, news agency Reuters and Independent News and Media, owner of the Independent titles.

The libel claim focuses on a series of articles that appeared in the British press including the Daily Mail, the London Evening Standard and the Independent on Sunday from April 22 onwards.

These articles alleged that Robert Dee had lost 54 consecutive professional matches, making him the world’s worst player. British-born Dee, who works full time as a tennis professional at La Manga in Spain, has denied the claim.

According to his spokesman, Dee said that while he has lost 54 consecutive International Tennis Federation matches he also won 20 other professional matches in that time.

The Guardian, which reported in April that he had not won a professional game in three years, published a correction and apology on May 23 accepting that this was not true. The paper was not named in yesterday’s writ.

David Engel, of law firm Addleshaw Goddard, which represents Dee, said: “These articles were wrong and extremely damaging to our client’s professional reputation as a tennis professional who earns his living from the game.

“The continued refusal by a number of media organisations to accede to our client’s request for printed apologies has left Mr Dee with no option but to sue for libel.”


Published: 11 Jun 2008