This film is part of Free

Sue Barker competing in Torquay

Sue Barker returns to home turf with a very special fan

Sport 1984 12 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Sue Barker competes against the Swiss player Lilian Drescher Kelaidis before being interviewed by TV reporter Peter Baraclough. Now aged 28, the interview is a retrospective of Sue Barker's playing career. Sue was talent spotted while playing for her school, the Marist Convent in Paignton in Devon. She was then coached by Arthur Roberts, the man behind the success of former Wimbledon winner, Angela Mortimer who lifted the Rosewater Dish in 1961.

After wins for her school and junior titles Sue Barker moved to California aged 17. She won the French Open in 1976 beating the Czech Renata Tomanova and in 1977 ranked world number three, she reached the semi-final of Wimbledon but was unexpectedly defeated by Betty Stove. Sue Barker did retire from the professional tour in the same year as this interview but went on to a broadcasting career and became the top seeded host for the BBC's coverage of Wimbledon. Singer Cliff Richard met Sue Barker in 1982 and they shared an interest in Christianity and tennis. As a celebrity couple, there was much press interest and even rumours of marriage but Cliff remained a bachelor boy and Sue married another suitor.