A new face will be added to the BBC commentary team at next year’s Wimbledon and former presenter Sue Barker has hinted that tennis great Roger Federer is set to make his debut in the booth.
The final curtain came down on Federer’s playing career at the Laver Cup in September as the 20-time Grand Slam winner had announced ahead of the tournament that he is to retire.
The 41-year-old had played very little competitive tennis over the past few years due to a long-standing knee injury and he admitted that it was time to listen to his body and call it a day.
Federer, though, had made it clear that he wants to stay involved in tennis in some capacity, suggesting that he will play exhibition tournaments once he is fully fit again and do a bit of coaching.
There have also been suggestions that he could become a commentator and it looks like he will be part of the BBC’s team for Wimbledon 2023, if the legendary Barker is to be believed.
Former world No 3 and 1976 French Open Barker, who herself retired this year as the public broadcaster’s Wimbledon presenter this year after three decades in the booth, took part in a Q&A at Kingston’s Rose Theatre earlier this week as part of her one-woman show based on her new best-selling book Calling The Shots.
According to the Kingston Nub News’ Stuart Higgins, Barker “also dropped a heavy hint that tennis legend Roger Federer, who officially retired at The Laver Cup tournament at the 02 last month, may be joining the BBC’s commentary team for Wimbledon next year.”
Federer won a record eight men’s singles Wimbledon titles with his last trophy coming in 2017 while he also holds the record for most consecutive titles as he won five in a row from 2003–2007.
The BBC is also yet to confirm who will replace Barker as lead presenter with Clare Balding, former England cricketer Isa Guha and regular football presenter Gabby Logan all rumoured to be in the running to take over.
Besides Barker and Balding, this year’s BBC Wimbledon team featured former champions John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King and Pat Cash as well as Tracy Austin, Johanna Konta, Caroline Wozniacki, Tim Henman and Annabel Croft.
The likes of Chris Bradnam, Andrew Castle, Kim Clijsters, Andrew Cotter, Jo Durie, Colin Fleming, John Inverdale, Abigail Johnson, David Law, Nick Lester, John Lloyd, Miles MacLagan, Ronald McIntosh and Alison Mitchell all provided commentary.