Sue Barker said goodbye to Wimbledon after 30 years of coverage of the BBC’s tennis event, calling it an “absolute privilege.”
Prior to becoming a presenter, 66-year-old Barker was a professional tennis player who won the Grand Slam Singles title after winning the 1976 French Open.
To show that Barker has resigned from her role in front of the annual sports showpiece, commentator and former Wimbledon champion John McEnroe introduced Barker’s highlights film as both a player and a presenter. ..
In the film, many famous faces from the tennis and distant sports worlds sent their wishes to Barker.
Former tennis player Tim Henman said:
“She’s here at all Wimbledon I’ve been involved with as a professional player and now I’m working for the tournament side and the BBC.
“We miss her a lot, but hopefully we’ll arrive at the Royal Box in the evening and have more time to drink champagne, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Billie Jean King, a former world’s number one tennis player, said:
“I know what you have to do. I’ll probably leave, don’t worry.
“Anyway, thank you for everything. And I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens in the next chapter of your life.
Barker was visibly impressed and cried as her fellow presenters continued to praise her achievements as the film neared the end.
King said: “She is a goat. The best ever.”
Presenter Clare Balding also seemed to be suffocated because he wanted Barker well.
“And I think it’s no exaggeration to say that we broke her,” added 51-year-old Balding.
Barker was able to put out a few sentences with tears. “It was an absolute privilege. I love it. Amazing 30 years. Thank you.”
I heard a crowd of Wimbledon fans gathering under the commentary box, applauding, cheering, and chanting Barker’s name.
In a film about Barker’s career, 2022 Wimbledon Men’s Singles Champion Novak Djokovic said: Today I heard the bad news that you decided to end it in 30 years.
“You are probably the most legendary tennis broadcaster in the UK. Tennis is lonely without you. I miss you and I miss the interview.
“Hopefully, you’ll have at least one interview with you before you leave, so I can say goodbye to you directly.
“Thank you for everything that has contributed to our sport.”
Former Wimbledon champion Andy Murray said:
“You are great in our sport, I grew up watching you on TV all the time, and obviously I have been interviewed many times by you.
“I love seeing you in the Question Of Sport. You love tennis in this country and you will be sadly missed by everyone who sees it.
“We are all sad about it, but yeah, it’s great for your retirement.”
The compliment continued online when Channel 5 News presenter Dan Walker tweeted. Knowledgeable, insightful, compassionate, calm, respected … just a great broadcaster. “
“May she reign for a long time.”
Television moderator Sue Perkins wrote: What a champion. Thank you for staying in my living room for 30 years. “
Amon Holmes tweeted: “# SueBarker class and elegant deeds.”
Vernon Kay made the message short and sweet and tweeted “Sue Barker … Legend”.