Robert Dee: the world's worst tennis player

Remember Robert Dee?

Robert Dee is a professional tennis player. Trouble is, Robert Dee is not a great tennis player. Federer he ain’t. He’s got nada on Nadal. You get the idea.

What Robert is (or was) very good at is (or was) threatening libel actions against anyone who pointed out the fact that he’s not great at tennis. Over 30 media outlets capitulated to his legal threats.

But now, a high court judge has ruled that the Daily Telegraph was within its rights to refer to Dee as the “world’s worst Tennis player”.

Mrs Justice Sharp commented in her judgment:

“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.”

Thing is, he’d probably still beat me.

I am the world's worst tennis player

I’m rubbish at tennis. Really, embarrassingly bad. To be honest, it’s never really bothered me. Don’t even like tennis. And I certainly have no intention of making money from my tennis skills or lack thereof.

It’s a different story for Robert Dee, who is a professional tennis player. Unfortunately for Robert, his tennis skills have been derided by more than one media outlet. He’s even been called the world’s worst tennis pro.

I know nothing about tennis, so I couldn’t possibly comment. He’s probably better than me, anyway. Read about his record here and judge for yourself.

Anyway, Robert Dee objects to being called the world’s worst tennis player. He says it could damage his prospects for future employment. So he’s threatened to sue the various media outlets who have described him so. Many of them have apologised. And paid Mr Dee remuneration.

The Daily Telegraph has refused to apologise to Mr Dee. They are now in court, defending a libel action.

So is this a matter of truth, justification, or fair comment?