Sue Barker makes surprise Wimbledon return to honour Andy Murray

Sue Barker made a surprise return to Wimbledon to pay tribute to Sir Andy Murray as his career at the tennis tournament draws to a close.

The former lead Wimbledon presenter, who stepped back from the role in 2022 after 30 years of coverage for the BBC, received a roaring welcome and applause as she stepped out on Centre Court on Thursday.

Sir Andy, 37, appeared emotional as Barker came out of retirement to interview him. She told the crowd: “I couldn’t miss this. I was not going to miss this, I tell you.”

The two-time Wimbledon champion was met by Barker after he and his brother Jamie were knocked out of the men’s doubles, by Rinky Hijikata and John Peers.

A tearful Sir Andy told Barker: “The last few years have been hard for me, but I think hard for (my team).

“Yeah, it has obviously been hard for all of us. The injuries have been tough, quite significant injuries and we’ve worked extremely hard just to be on the court competing. Probably not at the level any of us wanted, but we tried.

“It was obviously really special (to play with Jamie). We never got chance to do it before and the way things worked out, there was a chance.

“Jamie’s usual partner played with Neal Skupski, he asked me, and it was a bit of a race to get out here.

“Physically it wasn’t easy but I am glad we did it.

“Look it is hard because I would love to keep playing but I can’t. Physically it is too tough now, all of the injuries, they have added up and they haven’t been insignificant.

“I want to play forever, I love the sport and it’s given me so much. It’s taught me loads of lessons over the years I can use for the rest of my life. I don’t want to stop so it is hard.”

Wimbledon 2024 – Day Four – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
Sir Andy Murray with Sue Barker following his gentlemen’s doubles match with Jamie Murray (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Earlier this week, Sir Andy had to withdraw from playing singles at the tournament after he had been battling to recover from back surgery the previous week.

He is still due to play mixed doubles with 21-year-old British tennis star Emma Raducanu.

Barker bid a tearful farewell to Wimbledon at the end of the 2022 tournament, with Clare Balding later taking over her role.