19 April 1956 |
Paignton, Devon, England
|Height||5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)|
|Plays||Right-handed (1-handed backhand)|
|Highest ranking||No. 3 (20 March 1977)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||SF (1975, 1977 – Dec)|
|French Open||W (1976)|
|US Open||4R (1976)|
|Last updated on: August 15, 2012.|
Susan "Sue" Barker, MBE (born 19 April 1956 in Paignton, Devon) is an English television presenter and former professional tennis player. During her tennis career, she won eleven WTA Tour singles titles, including one Grand Slam singles title at the 1976 French Open. She reached a career-high singles ranking of World No. 3. She is now one of the main sports presenters at the BBC.
- 1 Tennis career
- 2 Major finals
- 3 WTA Tour Finals
- 4 Grand Slam singles tournament timeline
- 5 Broadcasting career
- 6 Personal life
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes and references
- 9 External links
Barker's tennis career began in 1973 and she won her first top-level singles title in 1974. She won three additional titles in 1975. Barker reached her first Grand Slam semi-final 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.
Later in 1976, Barker had the biggest victory of her career by winning the French Open at the age of 20, again defeating Tomanová in the final. Barker's toughest game en route to the final in Paris was her quarter-final match against Regina Maršíková, when Barker came back from a set down and won a gruelling final set 8–6. After her French Open victory against Tomanová, Barker felt that it would be the first of a number of Grand Slam titles that she would win, but she would not reach another Grand Slam final in her career.
In 1977, Barker won two singles titles in San Francisco and Dallas. She beat Martina Navratilova to reach the Virginia Slims Tour Championships final, where she lost in three sets to Chris Evert. Barker reached the Australian Open semi-final for the second time in 1977 and also reached the Wimbledon semi-final that year. She looked set to meet Virginia Wade in the Wimbledon final in 1977, but unexpectedly lost her semi-final against Betty Stöve of the Netherlands, which denied her the opportunity of playing against Wade in an all-British final.
Years later, Barker said that losing to Stöve was the biggest disappointment of her career and admitted that she was so upset at losing in the 1977 Wimbledon semi-final that she could not bear to watch the final, which was won by Wade.
After an injury-plagued 1978 during which her ranking dropped to World No. 24, she won three singles titles and reached three other finals in 1979. She was named the tour's "Comeback Player of the Year" by her fellow professionals. Barker reached one final in 1980 and won the last singles title of her career at the Brighton International 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, Andrea Jaeger and Pam Shriver.
Barker's forehand was her strongest weapon, with her coach Arthur Roberts describing it as "especially potent". Roberts was a notoriously severe character who very rarely praised Barker. "Everyone was terrified of him", she later said. When she left England to play in tournaments on the Continent, Roberts handed her a one-way ticket only, insisting that she had to earn the fare home.
In 2004, recalling her French Open win of 1976, Barker said: "I'm still incredibly proud of what I achieved."
Grand Slam finals
Singles: 1 (1 title, 0 runner–ups)
|Winner||1976||French Open||Clay||Renáta Tomanová||6–2, 0–6, 6–2|
Year-end Championships finals
Singles: 1 (0 titles, 1 runner–up)
|Runner-up||1977||New York City||Carpet (I)||Chris Evert||2–6, 6–1, 6–1|
Doubles: 1 (0 titles, 1 runner–up)
|Runner-up||1979||New York City||Carpet (I)||Ann Kiyomura|| Françoise Dürr
WTA Tour Finals
Singles: 26 (11–15)
|Winner||1.||8 July 1974||Båstad||Clay||Marijve Jansen||6–1, 7–5|
|Winner||2.||7 July 1975||Båstad||Clay||Helga Niessen Masthoff||6–4, 6–0|
|Winner||3.||14 July 1975||Kitzbühel||Clay||Pam Teeguarden||6–4, 6–4|
|Runner-up||1.||5 November 1975||Paris||Carpet (I)||Virginia Wade||1–6, 7–6, 7–9|
|Winner||4.||1 December 1975||Adelaide||Grass||Helga Niessen Masthoff||6–2, 6–1|
|Runner-up||2.||15 December 1975||Sydney||Grass||Evonne Goolagong||2–6, 4–6|
|Runner-up||3.||10 May 1976||Bournemouth||Clay||Helga Niessen Masthoff||7–5, 3–6, 3–6|
|Winner||5.||17 May 1976||Hamburg||Clay||Renáta Tomanová||6–3, 6–1|
|Winner||6.||31 May 1976||French Open||Clay||Renáta Tomanová||6–2, 0–6, 6–2|
|Runner-up||4.||25 November 1976||Tokyo||Carpet (I)||Chris Evert||2–6, 6–7|
|Runner-up||5.||6 December 1976||Melbourne||Grass||Margaret Court||2–6, 2–6|
|Runner-up||6.||17 January 1977||Houston||Carpet (I)||Martina Navrátilová||6–7(3), 5–7|
|Runner-up||7.||24 January 1977||Minneapolis||Carpet (I)||Martina Navrátilová||0–6, 1–6|
|Runner-up||8.||21 February 1977||Detroit||Carpet (I)||Martina Navrátilová||4–6, 4–6|
|Winner||7.||28 February 1977||San Francisco||Carpet (I)||Virginia Wade||6–3, 6–4|
|Winner||8.||7 March 1977||Dallas||Carpet (I)||Terry Holladay||6–1, 7–6(4)|
|Runner-up||9.||24 March 1977||Virginia Slims Championships||Carpet (I)||Chris Evert||6–2, 1–6, 1–6|
|Runner-up||10.||12 December 1977||Sydney||Grass||Evonne Goolagong||2–6, 3–6|
|Runner-up||11.||12 March 1979||Boston||Carpet (I)||Dianne Fromholtz||2–6, 6–7(4)|
|Runner-up||12.||26 March 1979||Carlsbad||Hard||Kerry Melville Reid||6–7, 6–3, 2–6|
|Runner-up||13.||11 June 1979||Chichester||Grass||Evonne Goolagong Cawley||1–6, 4–6|
|Winner||9.||10 September 1979||Pittsburgh||Carpet (I)||Renée Richards||6–3, 6–1|
|Winner||10.||3 December 1979||Sydney||Grass||Rosalyn Fairbank||6–0, 7–5|
|Runner-up||14.||8 December 1980||Adelaide||Grass||Hana Mandlíková||1–6, 4–6|
|Runner-up||15.||10 August 1981||Richmond||Carpet (I)||Mary-Lou Piatek||4–6, 1–6|
|Winner||11.||19 October 1981||Brighton||Carpet (I)||Mima Jaušovec||4–6, 6–1, 6–1|
Doubles: 30 (12–18)
|Runner-up||1.||26 May 1975||Rome||Clay||Glynis Coles|| Chris Evert
|Winner||1.||14 July 1975||Kitzbühel||Clay||Pam Teeguarden|| Fiorella Bonicelli
|Winner||2.||1 December 1975||Adelaide||Grass||Michelle Tyler|| Kym Ruddell
|Runner-up||2.||8 December 1975||Perth||Grass||Michelle Tyler|| Christine Matison
Lesley Turner Bowrey
|Runner-up||3.||16 August 1976||Toronto||Clay||Pam Teeguarden|| Cynthia Doerner
|7–6, 3–6, 1–6|
|Winner||3.||12 October 1976||Hilton Head Island||Clay||Evonne Goolagong|| Martina Navratilova
|4–6, 6–4, 3–6|
|Winner||4.||25 November 1976||Tokyo||Carpet (I)||Ann Kiyomura|| Rosie Casals
|4–6, 6–3, 6–1|
|Runner-up||4.||17 January 1977||Houston||Carpet (I)||Ann Kiyomura|| Martina Navratilova
|6–4, 2–6, 1–6|
|Runner-up||5.||28 February 1977||San Francisco||Carpet (I)||Ann Kiyomura|| Kerry Melville Reid
|Runner-up||6.||5 February 1979||Seattle||Carpet (I)||Ann Kiyomura|| Françoise Dürr
|6–7(4), 6–4, 4–6|
|Runner-up||7.||19 February 1979||Detroit||Carpet (I)||Ann Kiyomura|| Betty Stöve
|Runner-up||8.||12 March 1979||Boston||Carpet (I)||Ann Kiyomura|| Kerry Melville Reid
|Runner-up||9.||19 March 1979||Avon Championships||Carpet (I)||Ann Kiyomura|| Françoise Dürr
|Runner-up||10.||2 April 1979||Tokyo||Carpet (I)||Ann Kiyomura|| Françoise Dürr
|Winner||5.||10 September 1979||Pittsburgh||Carpet (I)||Candy Reynolds|| Bunny Bruning
|Runner-up||11.||3 December 1979||Sydney||Grass||Pam Shriver|| Billie Jean King
|Runner-up||12.||10 December 1979||Adelaide||Grass||Pam Shriver|| Hana Mandlíková
|1–6, 6–3, 2–6|
|Winner||6.||11 February 1980||Oakland||Carpet (I)||Ann Kiyomura|| Greer Stevens
|Runner-up||13.||31 March 1980||Tokyo||Carpet (I)||Ann Kiyomura|| Billie Jean King
|Runner-up||14.||8 December 1980||Adelaide||Grass||Sharon Walsh|| Pam Shriver
|Winner||7.||16 February 1981||Houston||Carpet (I)||Ann Kiyomura|| Regina Maršíková
|5–7, 6–3, 6–4|
|Runner-up||15.||23 February 1981||Seattle||Carpet (I)||Ann Kiyomura|| Rosie Casals
|Winner||8.||2 March 1981||Los Angeles||Carpet (I)||Ann Kiyomura|| Peanut Louie
|6–1, 4–6, 6–1|
|Winner||9.||4 May 1981||Tokyo||Carpet (I)||Ann Kiyomura|| Barbara Potter
|Runner-up||16.||18 May 1981||Berlin||Clay||Renáta Tomanová|| Rosalyn Fairbank
|Winner||10.||8 June 1981||Surbiton||Grass||Ann Kiyomura|| Billie Jean King
|6–1, 6–7, 6–1|
|Runner-up||17.||3 August 1981||Indianapolis||Clay||Paula Smith|| JoAnne Russell
|Winner||11.||10 August 1981||Richmond||Carpet (I)||Ann Kiyomura|| Kathy Jordan
|4–6, 7–6, 6–4|
|Winner||12.||11 January 1982||Cincinnati||Carpet (I)||Ann Kiyomura|| Pam Shriver
|Runner-up||18.||15 February 1982||Houston||Carpet (I)||Sharon Walsh|| Kathy Jordan
Grand Slam singles tournament timeline
|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|
|Year End Ranking||19||10||5||24||10||16||14||62||57||155|
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.
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.
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, the Great North Run, World Athletics Championships and European Athletics Championships (1999–2009), BBC Sports Personality of the Year (1994-2012), Commonwealth Games (since 1994) and Winter Olympics (since 1994).
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.
In 2014, she was one of the main presenters/commentators of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Games.
In 1978, Barker broke off an engagement with Australian tennis player Syd Ball. In an interview the following year, she said: "I realised that Syd wasn't the answer. Underneath, I wasn't happy and I certainly wasn't ready for marriage. I wasn't fair to him or myself." After her engagement was broken off, she had a brief relationship with another Australian, golfer Greg Norman.
In 1982, Barker met singer Cliff Richard. Their romance during the early 1980s made headlines. Richard said in 2008 that he had come close to asking her to marry him. He said: "I seriously contemplated asking her to marry me, but in the end I realised that I didn't love her quite enough to commit the rest of my life to her."
In 1986, after Barker's romance with Richard had ended and she began a brief relationship with tennis player Stephen Shaw, Richard said he was still a friend of Barker. He said: "We have a mutual respect for each other and that means a lot to me."
In 1988, Richard said of his former romance with Barker: "We were closer than just friends. She's the only person with whom I've had that sort of relationship." He said that one of the things which made up his mind not to marry her was when she got upset because he hadn't told her who he was seeing that day. Richard said: "I suddenly realised that in a marriage you don't live for yourself."
In 1980, Barker was temporarily blinded in her right eye after a large dog in Spain jumped up and bit her. She lost the sight in her eye for five hours and feared that the dog attack would force her to stop playing tennis, which she said "broke her heart".
In an interview in 1999, Barker said that during her tennis career she was approached by a lesbian tennis player in the locker room and touched "in a way that didn't feel right". Barker refused to name the female tennis player involved.
In July 2012, the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK received over 40 complaints for a Go Compare advert that Barker starred in when she was featured firing a large rocket launcher at opera singer Gio Compario (Wynne Evans) in an attempt to kill off the face of the brand. A spokesperson for the ASA said: "Some people think it offensive especially at a time when children are watching. Others think it inappropriate when our security forces are coming under fire on a daily basis. As with all complaints, we are looking into the matter before deciding if we launch a full investigation."
Notes and references
- "Sue Barker – Speakers Biography". Speakers.co.uk. Retrieved 16 December 2010.
- "Barker recalls her golden moment". BBC Sport. 21 May 2004. Retrieved 18 May 2007.
- Barker, Sue (21 May 2004). "Barker recalls her golden moment". BBC News. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- "Devon - Discover Devon". BBC. 30 January 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- Jon Henderson (8 July 2007). "Tennis: Say it's not so Sue". Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- "Sue Barker (GBR)". Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 18 May 2007.
- "Meet the Question of Sport regulars". BBC Sport. 12 September 2003. Retrieved 18 May 2007.
- Purnell, Gareth. "The Brian Viner Interview: Sue Barker - Barker's happy return to the fore". The Independent. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- "Sue Barker". BBC Sport. 30 June 2000. Retrieved 18 May 2007.
- Sue Barker signs TV contract, 9 July 2008, Daily Mirror. Retrieved on 7 July 2009.
- "A model beauty - That's Sweet Sue". Evening Times. 1 September 1979. p. 3.
- Wigg, David (12 September 2008). "Sir Cliff Richard puts the record straight on God, infidelity and those gay rumours". Daily Mail. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
- "Sir Cliff Richard Biography". The Biography Channel. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Sir Cliff Richard: 'My close friendship with the former priest who shares my life'". Daily Mail. 4 September 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- Sally Pearce (12 January 1986). "Cliff Richard, the pop world's greatest survivor, says....". New Straits Times. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
- "My lost love, by bachelor boy Cliff". Evening Times. 9 November 1988.
- Clout, Laura (9 July 2008). "Sue Barker wins BBC contract to cover 2012 London Olympics". Telegraph. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- "My lost love, by bachelor boy Cliff". Evening Times. 9 November 1988.
- "News". The Sun. 3 August 2007. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- Sue Barker: A good sport. Retrieved on 14 March 2010.
- "Sue Barker puts tennis in its place". The Miami News. 6 October 1982.
- "Sue Barker Go Compare rocket launcher advert gets complaints". Digital Spy. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- Sue Barker at the Women's Tennis Association
- Sue Barker at the International Tennis Federation
- Sue Barker at the Fed Cup
- Sue Barker at the Internet Movie Database
|Regular host of A Question of Sport
1997 – present
|Awards and achievements|
|RTS Television Sport Awards
Best Sports Presenter