A Question of Sport: Sue Barker says goodbye
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After 30 years as the face of Wimbledon on the BBC, former Question of Sport host Sue Barker announced earlier this year that 2022 would be her final time presenting the competition. Despite reportedly being offered an extension to her contract, Sue said in a statement that “the time is right” to say farewell to Wimbledon and other tennis tournament hosting duties.
Sue said in a statement to the Daily Mail regarding her exit: “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.
“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.”
But before she says goodbye for good, Sue was on hand to front Sunday’s coverage of the Queen’s Final between Matteo Berretinni and Filip Krajinovic.
And moments after kicking off the coverage, her co-star and former tennis player Andrew Castle had some kind words for her.
“It’s the 2022 Cinch Championship Final from the Queen’s Club in West London,” Sue said inside the BBC studio. “And we are looking forward to it!
“Andrew Castle and John Lloyd are with me, lovely looking back at some of the great champions who have graced this court,” she added, referring to the BBC’s opening compilation of Queen’s Finals from years gone by.
“It is indeed,” Andrew agreed before he turned his attention to Sue: “And this is your last one!
“It’s a shame,” Sue’s colleague and pal added before he shared his thoughts on the final.
“This tournament is bigger than just an ATP Tour event.
“Because of where it sits in the calendar, just before Wimbledon, people come here thinking they need to get ready for Wimbledon and, of course, they need to get the grass-court matches in and feel comfortable on a surface they’re going to have to transition to after playing so much on the clay.”
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Sue was also on hand to share an insight into the match’s finalists, pointing out that Italian Matteo Berretinni could be on course to make it back-to-back titles.
“Matteo Berretinni starts as the favourite to retain the title he won here at Queens 12 months ago,” Sue said at the top of the coverage.
“He backs up a monster serve with a vicious forehand and makes the world number 10 a formidable opponent on grass.
“The Italian has won 19 of his last 20 matches on a grass court and his one defeat came at the hands of Novak Djokovic in last year’s Wimbledon final.”
However, Filip Krajinovic would be no pushover, as Sue went on: “Filip Krajinovic of Serbia had never won a tour match on the grass at the start of the week but like London buses, he’s now won four on the bounce.
“Still chasing a maiden tour title, he’ll start today as the outsider but he’s grown in confidence through the week and took out the two-time Queens champion Maren Cilic in yesterday’s semi-final.”
Coverage of Sue’s final stint at a Queen’s Final aired on BBC One across Sunday afternoon and will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer once the winner is determined.
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