Roger Federer could become one of the BBC’s highest-paid names if he joins the Wimbledon punditry team following his retirement. The Swiss suggested as much several weeks ago and former BBC anchor Sue Barker backed up his claims with a fresh suggestion that he could soon be seen at SW19.
During his playing days, Federer was a fan favourite at Wimbledon, where he collected eight of his 20 Grand Slam titles during a glittering career. Injuries ground him to a halt over the past few years, however, and the Laver Cup in London last month proved to be his emotional farewell tournament.
In the aftermath, the 41-year-old admitted that working in the media was a growing possibility going forward. “I always thought I’ll never go on the journalist side or that commentary would never be a thing for me, but six months ago I was thinking, ‘Oh, you know what? Commentating the odd match or giving back in this way, if I guess I could imagine it maybe,” he added.
“I can’t even believe I’m saying that, we’ll see what happens. It’s just a way to maybe be around matches and players and people.”
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According to The Sun, Barker, who vacated her own prestigious BBC post as Wimbledon anchor this year, dropped a fresh hint during her one-woman theatre show that Federer could soon be joining up with the punditry team.
Doing so would likely land him a bumper pay packet, given that he remains one of the biggest names in tennis. Celebrity Net Worth estimates Federer’s fortune at just under £500million, suggesting it would take a fair bit of cash to catch his eye.
Luring Federer in would surely see him usurp John McEnroe and Tim Henman as two of the top earners within the BBC’s tennis punditry ranks. McEnroe, who won seven Grand Slam titles including three at Wimbledon, is believed to bank anywhere up to £200,000 for his work at SW19 while former British No 1 Henman was reported by The Daily Mail to pocket the same amount more then a decade ago.
It remains to be seen whether Federer takes the step into punditry and whether the BBC would be willing to fork out for his services. The much-loved figure won his last Wimbledon title in 2017, 14 years on from his first with numerous epic battles against Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray along the way.
The former world No 1 was given a huge send-off at the Laver Cup in September, despite Team Europe coming out on the losing side. Federer’s last-ever match was also a defeat as he and Nadal lost to Francis Tiafoe and Jack Sock in a three-set blockbuster.
“We wish the result would [have been] different,” he said. “I told Andy [Murray] in the locker room, I don’t like losing. It’s not fun. It just leaves not the best taste, you know. I think once you have been there and tasted success, it’s just not the same.”