By Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter
Sue Barker will retire as presenter of the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage at the end of this year’s tournament after 30 years, the broadcaster has announced.
The former French Open winner, 66, said: “What a wonderful time I’ve had working on some of the biggest sporting events around the world.
“I will miss it terribly but after 30 years I feel the time is right for me. I’ve worked with the best of the best.”
🎾 After an incredible 30 years at the helm of live sports broadcasting for the BBC, Sue Barker has taken the decision to step down from her role at the end of this year’s Wimbledon tournament
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— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) June 9, 2022
Barker was the last British woman to win the French Open in 1976.
BBC director-general Tim Davie said: “Sue Barker has been the face and voice of Wimbledon for three decades.
“Many of our viewers will not know of a summer in SW19 without her. She is a consummate professional, an outstanding presenter and a wonderful colleague, loved by current and former players, all of us at the BBC and audiences across the UK and beyond.
“Her contribution to tennis, the BBC, sports presenting and for blazing a trail for women in broadcasting cannot be overstated. We are looking forward to her leading our coverage, with all the style, warmth and knowledge she has displayed for the last 30 years, and we will say farewell with heavy hearts at the end of the tournament.”
Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, added: “Sue is a national treasure and we’d have loved for her to continue in her role for many years to come.
“We do of course respect her decision and understand why, after 30 years of leading Wimbledon presentation, she’s ready to make this year her last. We thank Sue for the remarkable contribution she has made to sports broadcasting during what has been a truly extraordinary and illustrious career.
“A consummate professional who audiences will remember for her skill, authority and warmth on screen, Sue will be equally remembered with fondness and affection by colleagues who had the privilege to work alongside her, experiencing the same professionalism and warmth behind the scenes.”