John McEnroe has paid an emotional tribute to Sue Barker on the broadcaster’s final day at Wimbledon.
And McEnroe, working as a pundit, went off-script to thank the 66-year-old for her efforts over the years. The three-time Wimbledon champion hugged Barker before stepping away from the camera.
‘Before I go I want to give you one last hug, Sue,’ said McEnroe, before the two embraced.
‘Thank you for everything. You’ve been amazing, unbelievable…we are going to miss you.
‘If you want [an] absolutely big time [comparison], you’re the Roger Federer of the broadcasting world.’
Barker blushed, before replying: ‘Thank you so much!’
John McEnroe paid tribute to her broadcasting colleague at the BBC for years
Barker was on Centre Court for the last time for the men’s singles final between Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios
Barker spoke with now seven-time Wimbledon champion Djokovic after he beat Kyrgios in four sets to claim the title
Barker arrived at Wimbledon this morning for her final day covering the tournament
Twitter reacted in similar fashion to Barker, welling up as the two tennis legends spoke.
‘I love that McEnroe keeps making a fuss of Sue Barker. It’s so beautiful,’ said one user.
‘I think John McEnroe is gonna really miss Sue Barker,’ added another.
@BForce77 joked that ‘McEnroe calling Sue Barker the Roger Federer of broadcasting was the least annoying thing he’s ever said,’ while another posted: ‘Wonderful tribute (and hug) to Sue Barker just now by legend John McEnroe.’
Sue Barker with Wimbledon women’s champion Elena Rybakina yesterday (left), and in 1999 (right)
Barker commiserates men single’s runner-up Nick Kyrgios on Centre Court on Saturday July 10
Sportsmail exclusively revealed in June that Barker had been offered a three-year contract extension by the BBC.
But she vowed to bow out on top and won’t be seen on screens after today’s final.
She revealed the death of her mother earlier this year was a contributing factor to her decision.
‘Basically I just feel the time is right. It has been my dream job and I have loved every minute of it, working with so many great colleagues who I am going to miss so much,’ she told the Daily Mail.
‘My mum was always so interested in my broadcasting career and we would speak every evening.
‘When something like that happens it does make you reassess life, which is another reason I think this is the right time.’