Addleshaws serves libel writs for tennis player dubbed ‘world’s worst’

Addleshaw Goddard is stepping into battle against the publishers of the Daily Mail, the Independent on Sunday and news agency Reuters over stories that claimed 21-year-old Robert Dee was the world’s worst tennis player.

The firm served libel proceedings in the High Court after a series of articles alleged that Dee had lost 54 consecutive International Tennis Federation matches in three years, making him the world’s worst player.

British-born Dee says he won 20 other professional matches during that period.

Addleshaws ;lodged claims against Daily Mail publishers Associated Newspapers, Independent on Sunday owners Independent News and Media, and news agency Reuters.

David Engel, the lead Addleshaws ;partner advising Dee, said his client does not claim to be a tennis superstar, but is hard working, professional and has enjoyed good success of late.

“Sections of the media, portrayed him as the Eddie the Eagle of the tennis court,” he added. “That’s the kind of mud that can stick if not corrected promptly. We spent more than a month asking the defendants to publish apologies, but, unlike The Guardian, these particular media outlets declined to do so. Mr Dee can’t afford to see his professional reputation trashed and to be held up to public ridicule in this way.”