BUNGLING French Open officials have been forced to fix the women’s singles trophy – because it had Britain’s Sue Barker down as Australian!
Barker, long before she became a respected BBC TV presenter, was a successful tennis player on the WTA circuit.
In 1976 she won the singles title at Roland Garros – her one and only major crown.
Barker, now 63, beat Czech Renata Tomanova 6-2 0-6 6-2 in the final in Paris then aged 20 years old.
However, for the best part of the past 40 years, it seems she has been etched on the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen as AUS – which represents Australia in international sports code – and not GBR (for Great Britain).
Eagle-eyed observers noticed the gaffe when Australian Ashleigh Barty lifted the silverware on Saturday afternoon following a comfortable 6-1 6-3 victory over Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova.
Barty, 23, is the first Australian woman to win at Roland Garros since Margaret Court in 1973.
It is understood the French Open chiefs have since admitted the mistake and have made plans to rectify it – much to the embarrassment of the engraver.
It also appears the Slovenian star Mima Jausovec, the 1977 winner, has been spelt incorrectly as Jausevec.
That victory 43 years ago remains the high point of Barker’s career.
She reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon in 1977 and the Australian Open the following year, for the second time, but never again played a Grand Slam final.
The Devon-born star is one of the country’s most recognisable TV figures and will anchor the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage once again this summer.
Since taking over from David Coleman in 1997, Barker has been the lead host for the BBC Question of Sport programme.
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