Former BBC Wimbledon host and 1976 French Open winner Sue Barker has had her say on the greatest of all time conversation between Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The trio have dominated the sport for the past 20 years, as the Swiss star recently retired behind both Nadal and Djokovic in the race for the most-ever Grand Slam titles.
Federer called it a day at the Laver Cup with 20 Major wins to his name, one behind Djokovic and two behind Nadal but Barker believes he is still the greatest ever due to his influence on the sport. “We have been blessed to watch this incredible era of the sport and all three of these great players will be remembered as greats of the game,” Barker said.
“Also, the role model he was to kids and his popularity around the world is second to none. He has been voted the most popular player for 20 years in a row. We were so lucky to have him playing until he was 40 and for me, I would still say at the moment that Roger is the best for everything he stands for and what he has given the sport.
I was very fortunate to be part of the Parade of Champions on middle Sunday at Wimbledon this year and Roger came over to take part. We didn’t know he was coming until half an hour before so it was very exciting.
“Then at the end, John McEnroe made a special presentation to me as it was my last year with the BBC and I was blubbing. Roger looked at me and reminded me of the time I made him cry on Centre Court when he won Wimbledon for the first time and it was a lovely moment.”
Barker was also asked who at their peak would win in a match between Brits Tim Henman and Andy Murray. “Tim will never forgive me for saying this, but it would have to be Andy,” Barker replied.
“Having said that, it is a different era and when I look at myself playing with my wooden racket, it looks like we are playing ping-pong.
“Every generation moves on and gets stronger and I’m sure Tim would have been a better player in this generation, but Andy had something about him that made sure he was a great, great champion.”