Countless eyes were fixated on French tennis star Nicolas Mahut, who had just been defeated in the third round of the French Open on May 31.
Fans in the stadium watched as Mahut, 37, became visibly emotional after being defeated by Argentinian Leonardo Mayer.
Mahut sat down, head in his hands, and began to weep.
One pair of eyes fixated on the famed tennis player belonged to Mahut’s 7-year-old son, Natanel, who was not about to watch his dad remain alone in his disappointment.
The boy’s reaction to his father’s loss immediately won the hearts of the crowd and has now left viewers across the globe misty-eyed, too.
Young Natanel raced across the famed red clay court and ran straight into his father’s arms, wrapping him up in a comforting bear hug.
French tennis player Nicolas Mahut’s son sprinted across the clay at Roland-Garros to console his father after a tough loss at the French Open https://t.co/jfdxluAeD3
— Sports Insider (@SportsInsider) June 6, 2019
The pair shared a long hug as the boy appeared to whisper something into his father’s ear.
In that moment, the outcome of a tennis match paled in comparison to the fierce love this little boy had for his father.
The crowd roared in applause, already on their feet as Mahut and his son walked off the court, hand in hand.
The sting of losing in your home country is especially painful, and Mahut waved to his fans who had been hoping for a different outcome.
You maybe already saw this.
Tennis player Mahut losing at Roland Garros in front of his family, breaks down in tears.
His kid runs on court to hug him.
His opponent Mayer getting emotional.
Father and son walk away hand in hand.
Losing, winning, living.pic.twitter.com/YOE3ohKVGJ
— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) June 4, 2019
Even Mahut’s opponent, Mayer, seemed to get emotional over the heartfelt moment, his facial expressions suggesting that he was holding back tears as he packed up his bag, gave Mahut a standing ovation and exited the court.
As much as the crowd loved watching Mahut and Mayer battle it out on the court, the heartwarming moment between father and son seems to be the highlight of the match.
Aside from this memorable moment, Mahut cemented his fame when he endured an 11-plus-hour match with John Isner in 2010 at Wimbledon, where he was eventually defeated, according to tennis.com.
Mahut will not be No. 1 on this year’s French Open results, but he is definitely No. 1 where it matters most.
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