Who is Sue Barker’s favorite tennis player?

Now she no longer has to keep an unbiased opinion, Sue Barker has revealed who her favorite tennis player is.

The broadcasting legend scooped the Lifetime Achievement accolade at the BT Sport Action Woman Awards on Wednesday, honoring her remarkable career on and off the court.

Barker announced earlier this year that she would be stepping away from her coverage of Wimbledon for BBC Sport, ending an iconic 30 years in the role.

Who is Sue Barker’s favorite tennis player?

After receiving her Lifetime Achievement award, Barker sat down with presenter and former colleague Clare Balding to reflect on her inspiring career.

While reminiscing on her final day of Wimbledon coverage, she admitted she struggled to keep herself together due to the overwhelming reception she received.

It was a tearful moment all round, especially for the broadcasting legend.

“And then I looked over at Roger [Federer] because, well, let’s face it, why wouldn’t you?” Barker joked. “And I remember every time I’ve interviewed him and asked ‘What is the best moment of your career?’ and he’s always said ‘Winning Wimbledon, it’s what I dreamed of — but you made me cry.’

“I looked at him and thought I’m not going to do a Roger, I can’t walk away from Wimbledon blubbing.”

Broadcasting legend Sue Barker
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 02: BBC Presenter, Sue Barker speaks prior to the Men’s Singles Third Round match between Rafael Nadal of Spain and Lorenzo Sonego of Italy on day six of The Championships Wimbledon 2022 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 02 , 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Balding then followed up by asking the golden question, one Barker has not been able to answer for 30 years.

“I was going to ask you, now that you don’t have to be neutral, who has been your favorite player but you may just have answered that.”

“Oh, do you think,” Barker responded, laughing, confirming it was Federer. “He even smells nice.”

Roger Federer has a laugh at the Laver Cup
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 24: Roger Federer of Team Europe smiles during Day Two of the Laver Cup at The O2 Arena on September 24, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images for Laver Cup)

For years now, there has been a debate over which player from the ‘Big Three’ is the best.

Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are all legends in their own right, but a lot of people struggle to give an answer when asked which of the three is the better player.

For Barker though, it clearly wasn’t an answer she needed to think too long about.

What did Sue Barker achieve during her career?

At just ten years of age, Barker was picked out as one of two girls to receive coaching from tennis mentor Arthur Roberts.

After she turned pro in 1973, it took her just three years to win her first Grand Slam tournament.

Barker was crowned the 1976 French Open champion after beating Czech star Renáta Tomanová in the final.

Sue Barker holds the French Open trophy in 1976
14 June 1976: English Tennis player Sue Barker on her way to victory in the French Championships. She beat Russian Renata Tomanova in three sets. Mandatory Credit: Allsport Hulton/Archive

While she believed this would be the start of more Grand Slam success, the Brit did not win another major tournament after Roland-Garros.

She retired in 1984 with 15 professional titles to her name, after enjoying the company of Roberts throughout her entire career.

After hanging up her racquet, Barker transitioned immediately into the broadcasting side of the sport. She became a reporter for Australia’s Channel 7 in 1985, before taking up a role as Sky’s tennis anchor from 1990 to 1993.

After that, she joined the BBC and became the face of Wimbledon coverage, a role she served brilliantly for three decades.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 16: Sue Barker interviews Roger Federer of Switzerland as he celebrates victory with the trophy after the Gentlemen’s Singles final against Marin Cilic of Croatia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 16, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Barker was also the much-loved host of quiz show A Question of Sport from 1997 until 2020.

“I had two amazing careers,” she said at the Action Woman awards. “Tennis, which I absolutely fell in love with as a seven-year-old, never thought it would be a career until Billie Jean won the battle of the sexes, and then suddenly my hobby became a career.

“I got to travel the world because of everything she did and that gave me a foothold into broadcasting.”

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