Sue Barker, presenter and tennis player

Sue Barker, presenter and tennis player

By BBC Radio 4

Sue Barker is a television presenter and former professional tennis player. She presented the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage for nearly three decades, before stepping down this year, when she received a standing ovation.

Sue was born in Devon in 1956, and was educated at the Marist Convent School where she had a reputation for being naughty – until her PE teacher, Mrs Chadwick, diverted her energy into tennis. Aged 11 she was selected for training by the local tennis coach Arthur Roberts, who had already guided players to Grand Slam titles. Sue started playing – and winning – junior tournaments.

She turned professional at 17, and moved to the US, joining a new women’s tour set up by Billie Jean King. During her career, she reached the ranking of World No. 3, playing and defeating her contemporaries, including Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Evonne Goolagong and Virginia Wade. Her biggest win came at the French Open in 1976 where, aged 20, she took her first – and only – Grand Slam title. Her biggest disappointment came at Wimbledon the following year, when she lost in the semi-final, despite being the clear favourite.

Plagued by injuries, she retired from tennis in 1985. She began commentating on Australia’s Channel 7, before moving to BskyB in the UK, and then joining the BBC in 1993. She has hosted Wimbledon, Grandstand, the Summer and Winter Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and A Question of Sport. When she announced her retirement from TV, her idol Billie Jean King called her the GOAT, the ‘greatest of all time’.

DISC ONE: Run Boy Run by Woodkid DISC TWO: Piano Concerto in A minor, composed by Edvard Grieg and performed by Sir Clifford Curzon (piano) and London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Øivin Fjeldstad DISC THREE: Harry Hippie by Bobby Womack DISC FOUR: California Girls by The Beach Boys DISC FIVE: The Greatest Love of All by George Benson DISC SIX: Simply Beautiful by Al Green DISC SEVEN: Grandstand by Keith Mansfield DISC EIGHT: Philadelphia Freedom by Elton John

BOOK CHOICE: All In by Billie Jean King LUXURY ITEM: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc wine CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Harry Hippie by Bobby Womack

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