Durr, whose sole Grand Slam singles triumph came at her home tournament in 1967, will be presenting the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen to either Jelena Ostapenko or third seed Simona Halep on Saturday, whilst Emerson, who won his 12th and final Grand Slam singles title in Paris the same year, will be handing the Coupe des Mousquetaires to either third seed Stan Wawrinka or fourth seed Rafael Nadal, who will be hoping to become the first person to win a Grand Slam singles tournament ten times.
The significance of Durr and Emerson’s triumphs occurring fifty years ago is extremely important, considering this was the last French Open to be held before the introduction of the Open Era in 1968.
Trophies to be presented by two legends of the game
The fact that both Durr and Emerson have been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame highlights the impressive careers that both have achieved, and both are undoubtedly deserving of the chance to present the latest champions in Paris with their trophies.
Durr is one of only four Frenchwoman to have won the singles titles at Paris since World War Two, with Mary Pierce in 2000 being the only Frenchwoman to take the title following her victory. The former world number three was 25 when she won her sole Grand Slam title, beating the likes of Maria Bueno before battling past Lesley Turner in three sets in the final. It was not only in singles Durr had success in 1967, taking the women’s doubles title alongside Gail Sherriff; alongside her singles triumph last year, she won seven doubles and four mixed doubles in her illustrious career.
Meanwhile, Emerson is considered one of the greatest players of all time, with a staggering 12 singles and 16 doubles Grand Slam titles to his name. His greatest successes in singles came at his home Grand Slam tournament, the Australian Open, which he won six times, though he also won multiple titles at the other major tournaments, winning in Paris in 1963 and 1967; he also made the final in 1962. His triumph in Paris signaled his last singles major final, beating fellow Australian Tony Roche in four sets, though the fact he has been invited back shows that his legacy still remains large 50 years after his last major triumph.