Wimbledon fans split over Sue Barker replacement as BBC host to step down

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Wimbledon fans split over Sue Barker replacement as BBC host to step down

Express Sport readers are split over who should replace Sue Barker as the presenter of BBC's Wimbledon coverage. The longstanding host is due to st

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Express Sport readers are split over who should replace Sue Barker as the presenter of BBC’s Wimbledon coverage. The longstanding host is due to step down after this year’s tournament at SW19, with the lkes of Clare Balding, Tim Henman and Annabel Croft touted to take her place. 

Baker has enjoyed an illustrious broadcasting career spanning multiple decades and she was a dab hand on court too. She is still the last British woman to have won the French Open having done so in 1976, and she reached the Wimbledon semi-finals the following year. 

It was announced that she would step down as the host of the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage last month, prompting talk of who could replace her. Express Sport readers voted on the issue in a recent survey, which produced interesting results. 

Croft, Henman and Balding received an almost identical number of votes, with the latter marginally coming out on top. Martina Navratilova received a smaller proportion of the overall tally, with Tracey Austin finishing fifth of the five proposed options. 

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Like Barker, Croft is another British former female tennis star. She enjoyed most of her on-court success during the 1980s, reaching the third round at the All England Club in 1984 before retiring as a youngster and moving into television. 

Henman has long been part of the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage as a pundit and was, for a long time, the men’s British number one. He reached the Wimbledon semi-finals four times in a five-tournament period between 1998 and 2002, climbing to fourth in the world rankings at the end of that stint. 

Balding, meanwhile, has enjoyed a long and varied broadcasting career which includes presenting BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Channel 4 Racing and the Olympic Games on several occasions. Talk on who will step in to replace Barker is expected to ramp up once proceedings conclude at Wimbledon this weekend. 

The 66-year-old was moved to tears this week when John McEnroe paid a heartfelt tribute to her on Centre Court, which prompted a standing ovation from the crowd. “What a wonderful time I’ve had working on some of the biggest sporting events around the world,” she said in June. “I will miss it terribly but after 30 years I feel the time is right for me. I’ve worked with the best of the best.”



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