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World’s Worst Tennis Pro” Loses Libel Case Against Telegraph

By Nelly Hall

Robert Dee, the tennis player who claimed that the Daily Telegraph had defamed him by referring to him as the “world’s worst tennis pro” has had his claims of defamation thrown out by the High Court.

David Engel, a partner at Addleshaw Goddard has won over thirty settlements from media outlets on behalf of Dee who had sought damages on claims of defamation from various media outlets. In addition to a 12,500 settlement from the BBC, Dee has also secured various payments and apologies from media outlets across the globe.

The Daily Telegraph was the only outlet prepared to challenge the claim in a bid to have it struck out. The newspaper instructed solicitor advocate David Price of David Price solicitors.
In their bid to have this defamation claim struck out, the Daily Telegraph, the only outlet that challenged the suit instructed solicitor advocate David Price of David Price solicitors for this very purpose.

The article further stated that: “But his dismal run ended at the Reus tournament near Barcelona as he beat an unranked 17-year-old, Arzhang Derakshani, 6-4, 6-3. Dee lost in the second round.”

Arguing that the article had exposed his client to ridicule, Addleshaw also argued that the publication had been detrimental to Dee’s ability to work in the future.

This morning, Mrs Justice Sharp rejected this argument that the claims had any chance of success in higher court, concluding that: “It wouldn’t be immediately apparent how the claim would be likely to restore or enhance the claimant’s reputation in any event.”

In addition, Justice Sharp also said: “The incontestably true facts are that the claimant [Robert Dee] did lose 54 matches in a row in straight sets in his first three years on the world ranking ITF/ATP tournaments on the international professional tennis circuit, and that this was the worst ever run.”
The judge added that the Daily Telegraph had “no additional obligation” to prove that Dee “is objectively the worst professional tennis player in the world”.

Dee issued a statement saying that he was considering filing an appeal on Justice Sharp’s decision. This statement read in part that: “Given that more than 30 newspapers and other media organisations have already apologised for making allegations similar to those published by the Telegraph, it’s disappointing that the court has decided that my case against the Telegraph isn’t strong enough to proceed to a full trial.

Dee further states that: “It’s particularly disappointing in light of the fact that the court accepted that the Telegraph was “having a laugh” at my expense and that the article could be defamatory.

Want to find out more about how to make a claim for compensation, visit the Duncan Gibbins Solicitors website for up to date claims advice.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Hall, Nelly "World’s Worst Tennis Pro” Loses Libel Case Against Telegraph." World’s Worst Tennis Pro” Loses Libel Case Against Telegraph. 24 Jun. 2010. 19 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Hall, N (2010, June 24). World’s Worst Tennis Pro” Loses Libel Case Against Telegraph. Retrieved August 19, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Hall, Nelly "World’s Worst Tennis Pro” Loses Libel Case Against Telegraph"

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