A year after winning a doubles Grand Slam at the French Open, France’s own Nicolas Mahut was eliminated from this year’s clay court competition in the third-round, falling in four sets to Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer.
But he left Roland Garros with perhaps the best victory of the tournament.
Mahut’s loss was a painful end to an otherwise storybook run for the 37-year-old veteran, who advanced past the opening round despite being down two sets to Marco Cecchinato, then logged a straight sets victory over Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber. Mahut did not hide his emotions, shedding tears as he took a seat following his May 31 loss.
As Mahut sat courtside, his 7-year-old son, Natanel, eventually rushed the red clay, embraced his father and stole the show by consoling his favorite player in the French Open, ultimately walking hand in hand with his dad when it came time to exit.
The touching moment of father-son affection has since gained steam on social media, but it also drew immediate praise from the crowd in Paris. Not only did the audience cheer for Natanel comforting Mahut, in fact, but Mayer himself can be seen giving the two a standing ovation following the match. Some have speculated he was also holding back tears, and who could blame him?