‘The Roger Federer of broadcasting’ – John McEnroe pays emotional tribute to outgoing BBC tennis host Sue Barker

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TENNIS legend John McEnroe has described retiring presenter Sue Barker as “the Roger Federer of broadcasting” in a fitting tribute.

Barker, 66, is set to step aside as the face of BBC’s Wimbledon coverage following the 2022 edition.

McEnroe gave Barker a hug after describing her as the 'Federer of broadcasting'

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McEnroe gave Barker a hug after describing her as the ‘Federer of broadcasting’Credit: BBC
McEnroe, right, heaped praise on Barker, left, ahead of her final Wimbledon broadcast

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McEnroe, right, heaped praise on Barker, left, ahead of her final Wimbledon broadcastCredit: Getty
Federer has won more Wimbledon men's singles titles than anyone else (8)

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Federer has won more Wimbledon men’s singles titles than anyone else (8)Credit: Getty – Contributor

She has presented the tournament for British viewers for 30 years and has established herself as one of the most well-known faces at the All England Club.

And McEnroe, who has spent 20 years alongside Barker as a part of BBC’s Wimbledon coverage, summed up her impact by comparing her to eight-time champion Federer.

He simply described her as “the Roger Federer of the broadcasting world”.

Earlier in this year’s tournament, Barker broke down in tears after recovering from laryngitis in time to host the two-week event.

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She got emotional while stepping out onto Centre Court with her microphone in hand.

Explaining her decision to step away from the Wimbledon coverage, she said: “Basically I just feel the time is right.

“It has been my dream job and I have loved every minute of it working so many great colleagues who I am going to miss so much.

“When I started I never thought I would manage 30 years. I had actually made up my mind to leave in 2017 because the hours were becoming very long and quite challenging.

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“That would have been 25 years and seemed a good time, but I am so glad I made the decision to stay on.

“I’m very happy to be leaving with no regrets and on my own terms while I am still on top of the job, it just feels like the right time to go and leave it to others.”

It has not yet been announced who will replace Barker for the BBC at Wimbledon.

The 1976 French Open champion’s final broadcast from the All England Club concluded after Novak Djokovic beat Nick Kyrgios in the men’s final.

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