French Open witnesses tearful scene as Nicolas Mahut's son rushes onto court to console his father after defeat
Nicolas Mahut had tears of sadness rolling down his cheeks after losing a third-round match at the French Open. However, his seven-year-old son Natanel ran to the court to console his father, thereby turning his tears into comforting joy.
The French tennis veteran saw a chance to reach the last-16 and face a clash with Roger Federer for the first time in his career. However, his hopes slipped away in a four-set defeat to Argentine opponent Leonardo Mayer last Friday, Daily Mail reports.
Luckily, the 252nd-seed had moral support in the form of his son Natanel, who helped him finish this year's event in the most "beautiful way" possible.
Just moments after the youngster ran onto the court to console his emotional father, fans at the Simonne Mathieu court, along with opponent Mayer, gushed a flood of tears at the heartwrenching spectacle.
Mahut's son noticed his distress after he struggled to hold back tears following the loss. Sporting a white cap, he ran up to him courtside.
#RolandGarros2019 #Mahut, sconfitto, piange— Gianluca Abate (@Aba_Tweet) June 3, 2019
Il figlio corre ad abbracciarlo #Mayer, il vincitore, li fissa
E si commuove, gli occhi lucidi
Il senso dello sport è in quegli occhi
«Puoi imparare una riga dalla vittoria e un libro dalla sconfitta» (Paul E. Brown)
📹 @Eurosport_IT pic.twitter.com/gBWTrGSaot
As the emotional duo left the court, fans and Mayer gave them a roaring standing ovation.
Addressing reporters after the event, Mahut said: "I was really emotional to see him on the court."
"He comes on a win but also when I lose," he said. "I have the comfort of my young boy. A lot of emotions. The tiredness of the match. My body was aching everywhere today. I finally, that match was over, and finally, he comes to comfort me. Normally he's the one who is crying, and I'm comforting him and today was the contrary. Very moving, indeed. The crowd were incredible. Coming out of the court from a Roland court hasn't happened so often to me in my career, and it's something I will remember forever. I tried to contain my tears, and to come out of the court holding my head high. I didn't see that. That's good if he was emotional, too. I'm happy about that. I don't know if it was my last match in Roland, but if it were the case, I finished Roland Garros in a beautiful way."
Mayer lost the first set on Friday, but made a comeback soon after and won 6-3 6-7 4-6, 6-7.
Ranked nearly 200 places above Mahut as the 68th-seed, the Argentine went on to face tennis legend Federer, who then secured a stunning victory against him in straight sets and proceeded to this year's semi-finals.
Mahut currently lives with his wife Virginie and their seven-year-old son just a stone's throw away from Roland Garros in the Parisian suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt.
Mahut met his future wife in 2007 and four years later, the pair welcomed Natanel to the world. The tennis star is also step-father to Virginie's teenage son from a previous relationship. Having turned pro in 2000, the right-handed French athlete has been a mainstay on the tennis circuit for over two decades.