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Susan Barker
Sue Barker
Country Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Date of birth 19 April 1956 (1956-04-19) (age 53)
Place of birth Paignton, England
Height 5' 3"
Turned pro 1973
Retired 1984
Plays Right-handed
Career prize money £455,272
Career record 365–208
Career titles 11
Highest ranking No. 3 (20 March 1977)
Grand Slam results
Australian Open SF (1975, 1977)
French Open W (1976)
Wimbledon SF (1977)
US Open 4R (1976)
Career record 33–38
Career titles 12
Last updated on: N/A.

Susan Barker, MBE (born 19 April 1956, in Paignton, Devon, England) is a television presenter and former professional tennis player. During her tennis career, she won the women's singles title at the French Open and reached a career-high singles ranking of World No. 3.[1] She is now one of the main sports presenters at the BBC.


Tennis career

Barker's tennis career began in 1973 and won her first top-level singles title in 1974. She won three additional titles in 1975. Barker first reached the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament in 1975 at the Australian Open. She won the German Open in 1976, beating Renáta Tomanová of Czechoslovakia in the final 6–3, 6–1, and won the French Open the same year, again defeating Tomanová in the final.[2] In 1977 she won two singles titles, reached the semifinals at both Wimbledon and the Australian Open, and upset Martina Navratilova to reach the Virginia Slims Tour Championships final, where she lost in three sets to Chris Evert.

After an injury-plagued 1978, during which her ranking dropped to World No. 24, Barker in 1979 won three singles titles and reached three other finals. She was named the tour's "Comeback Player of the Year" by her fellow professionals.[3] Barker reached one final in 1980 and won the last singles title of her career at Brighton in 1981, finishing the year ranked World No. 16. She won her last doubles title in 1982 at Cincinnati, and played her last professional match in 1984.

In all, Barker won 11 singles titles and 12 doubles titles, posting wins over Evert, Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Tracy Austin, Virginia Wade, Maria Bueno, Rosemary Casals, and Pam Shriver. Her forehand was her strongest weapon, with her coach Arthur Roberts describing it as "especially potent".[4]

Major finals


Grand Slam finals

Singles: 1 final (1 title, 0 runner-ups)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Winner 1976 French Open Clay Czechoslovakia Renáta Tomanová 6–2, 0–6, 6–2

Year-End Championships finals

Singles: 1 final (0 titles, 1 runner-up)

Outcome Year Location Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1977 New York City Carpet (i) United States Chris Evert 2–5, 6–1, 6–1

Doubles: 1 final (0 titles, 1 runner-up)

Outcome Year Location Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1979 New York City Carpet (i) United States Ann Kiyomura France Françoise Durr
United States Betty Stöve
7–6, 7–6

Titles (23)

Singles (11)

Grand Slam (1)
Titles by Surface
Hard (0)
Clay (5)
Grass (2)
Carpet (4)
No. Date Location Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
1. 8 July 1974 Båstad, Sweden Clay Netherlands Marijve Jansen Schaar 6–1, 7–5
2. 7 July 1975 Båstad, Sweden Clay West Germany Helga Niessen Masthoff 6–4, 6–0
3. 14 July 1975 Kitzbühel, Austria Clay United States Pam Teeguarden 6–4, 6-4
4. 1 December 1975 Adelaide, Australia Grass West Germany Helga Niessen Masthoff 6–2, 6–1
5. 26 April 1976 Hamburg, West Germany Clay Czechoslovakia Renáta Tomanová 6–3, 6–1
6. 31 May 1976 French Open, Paris Clay Czechoslovakia Renáta Tomanová 6–2, 0–6, 6–2
7. 28 February 1977 San Francisco, USA Carpet (i) United Kingdom Virginia Wade 6–3, 6–4
8. 7 March 1977 Dallas, USA Carpet (i) United States Terry Holladay 6–1, 7–6(4)
9. 10 September 1979 Pittsburgh, USA Carpet (i) United States Renée Richards 6–3, 6–1
10. 3 December 1979 Sydney, Australia Grass South Africa Rosalyn Fairbank 6–0, 7–5
11. 19 October 1979 Brighton, UK Carpet (i) Yugoslavia Mima Jaušovec 4–6, 6–1, 6–1

Doubles (12)

  • 1981: Houston (with Ann Kiyomura)
  • 1981: Los Angeles (with Ann Kiyomura)
  • 1981: Tokyo, Bridgestone Doubles (with Ann Kiyomura)
  • 1981: Surbiton (with Ann Kiyomura)
  • 1981: Richmond (with Ann Kiyomura)
  • 1982: Cincinnati (with Ann Kiyomura)

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline

Tournament 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 Career SR
Australian Open A 3R SF 2R A SF QF A 3R 3R 1R A A 0 / 8
French Open A A 3R W A A 2R A 1R A A 1R 1 / 5
Wimbledon 2R 1R 3R QF SF 4R 1R 2R 3R 1R 1R 2R 0 / 12
US Open A A 2R 4R 3R A 2R A 2R A A 1R 0 / 6
SR 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 4 1 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 2 0 / 4 0 / 2 0 / 1 0 / 3 1 / 31

A = did not participate in the tournament.

SR = the ratio of the number of Grand Slam singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played.

Note: The Australian Open was held twice in 1977, in January and December. Barker played in only the January tournament.

Broadcasting career

Upon retiring from tennis Barker became a commentator and sports reporter for Australia's Channel 7 in 1985 before going on to anchor tennis coverage for British Sky Broadcasting in 1990. In 1993, Barker joined the Wimbledon coverage on the BBC and now anchors the two week long broadcast for the network.[5] One of the annual features of the coverage sees Barker reminiscing with former rivals Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Pam Shriver, and Tracy Austin during Wimbledon's rain delays.

Barker has branched out since joining the BBC, becoming one of their chief sports presenters and she is currently the presenter of the sports quiz show A Question Of Sport.[4]

In 2009, Barker already has hosted BBC Sport's coverage of the Australian Open, the French Open, Queens Club Championships, Eastbourne, and Wimbledon. For the remainder of the year, the tennis events she will host include Davis Cup, the Summer Olympic Games, and the Albert Hall Masters. Other sporting events she has hosted have included the Grand National (1996-2006), The Derby (2001-2007), Racing at Ascot and Longchamp (1995-1999), Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury, rugby league Challenge Cup, The Great North Run, World Athletics Championships and European Athletics Championships (both since 1999), Commonwealth Games(since 1994), Winter Olympics (since 1994), and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

2010 will be another big year for Barker. She will kick off with two week's worth of Tennis Coverage at the Australian Open. Soon after she will host coverage of Great Britain's crucial Davis Cup Match. Heading into the Summer, Barker returns to the scene of here greatest tennis triumph, presenting full coverage of the French Open. The busy Summer of English tennis follows with Live Coverage of the AEGON Championships from Queens Club, AEGON International from Eastbourne, and two weeks coverage from the greatest tennis event in the world- the Wimbledon Championships. Barker will host more Davis Cup Tennis in September, before ending the year with a weeks worth of Tennis at the ATP World Tour Finals from the 02 Arena in London. Other Sporting events she will cover during the year include the Grand National, The Derby, London Marathon, Great North Run, Winter Olympics, and of course ending the year with BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

In June 1999, she co-presented coverage of HRH Prince Edward's wedding to Sophie Rhys-Jones at Windsor alongside Michael Buerk. Barker had introduced Rhys-Jones to Queen Elizabeth II's youngest son at a charity function a few years earlier.

In 2008, Barker and the BBC extended her contract to cover the London 2012 Olympic Games. It is estimated to be worth £375,000 a year.[6]

Personal life

Barker had a brief relationship with singer Cliff Richard which made headlines in the early 1980s.[7] Richard revealed in 2008 that he had come close to asking her to marry him, but decided that he "didn't love her quite enough".[8] Barker is married to policeman Lance Tankard and lives in Surrey. [9] She is a famous fan of rottweilers. [10]

See also

Notes and references

External links

Media offices
Preceded by
David Coleman
Regular Host of A Question of Sport
1997 – present
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Mark Nicholas
RTS Television Sport Awards
Best Sports Presenter

Succeeded by
Gary Lineker


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