Standard apologises to tennis pro called 'worst in world'

The London Evening Standard has apologised to a British tennis professional after it published a story describing him as “the world’s worst tennis player”.

Robert Dee began libel proceedings in June against Standard publisher Associated Newspapers, Independent News and Media and Reuters for the damage caused to his reputation from a series of stories after he lost 54 consecutive International Tennis Federation matches.

The Evening Standard apology, published in Tuesday’s paper, read: ‘Our report on 22 April suggested that until the British tennis player Robert Dee had won a match that month, he had lost every previous professional match, and that he was therefore the world’s worst tennis player.

‘We now accept that, although Mr Dee lost 54 ITF matches in a row, during the year to March 2008 he won 22 professional matches in Spain where he is based and plays most of his competitive tennis. We apologise to Mr Dee.”

David Engel of law firm Addleshaw Goddard, which represented Dee, said at the time proceedings began: ‘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 Guardian made the allegation in a similar article but apologised and published a correction in its daily corrections column on 23 May.

The Sun printed an apology to Dee on 11 July, followed by the Independent on 6 August.

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