This Is Not the Greatest Lawsuit in the World
Posted by gauloises1 on February 25, 2010
This is not even a tribute. Robert Dee, a British man who allegedly plays tennis for a living, is sueing the Daily Telegraph for describing him as ‘the worst tennis pro in the world’.
The offending stories said Dee did not win a single match during his first three years on the professional circuit but finally ended this “dismal run” by beating an unranked 17-year-old in Spain in April 2008. One article, claiming Dee had lost 54 matches in a row, compared him to the ski jumper Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards and Eric the Eel, the Equatorial Guinea swimmer who struggled at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Dee argues that the reports suggested “that he unreasonably and unrealistically persists in a career as a professional tennis player which is an expensive waste of money and doomed to failure”.
He admits he indeed lost 54 successive matches in international contests, but claims that over the same period he played in professional national tournaments in Spain with “modest success”. To suggest he had suffered “an unrelieved catalogue of failure” was untrue and defamatory.
The Telegraph articles not only ridiculed and embarrassed Dee, but could deter people from employing him as a professional coach, said his barrister, Andrew Caldecott QC.
In court the Telegraph continued to insist that Dee did indeed hold the dubious honour of having had the world’s worst losing run in professional tennis. A Guatemalan player had also lost 54 consecutive matches, but unlike Dee, had once managed to actually win a set, said David Price, for the Telegraph. Dee, on the other hand, lost 108 sets in a row.
My favourite part about this story is definitely the fact that John Lloyd, a.k.a the British Davis Cup captain, may be called as a witness by the Telegraph. Because, you know, he’s got nothing better to do this week.
*files under ‘British tennis’*