In most situations, running onto the court at the French Open will get you tackled by security and thrown into la prison. An exception was made for a seven-year-old comforting his dad after a loss in a pure, emotional moment that’s now going viral.
With his father, Nicolas Mahut, sitting exhausted on the sidelines, Natanel Mahut ran onto the clay surface on court 14 at Roland Garros. As the entire stadium stood and clapped, Natanel gave his dad a huge hug. The elder Mahut packed up his rackets, slung his bag on his shoulder, and walked off the court hand-in-hand with his son, pausing only to blow kisses to the crowd.
Mahut’s opponent, Argentinian Leonardo Mayer, was visibly crying at the scene.
Before this match, Mahut was having an exciting run through the tournament. The 37-year-old came back from two sets down to win his first-round match against Marco Cecchinato and dispatched Philipp Kohlschreiber in straight sets in the second.
Mahut, who was born in Angers in western France, just a few hours from Roland Garros, began the third round by taking a set from Mayer before dropping three in a row — two by tiebreak — to lose the match.
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
Mahut was understandably emotional. He’s never advanced past the third round of the singles competition of his home country’s Grand Slam tournament. And two decades into his professional career, he likely doesn’t have many chances left.
This wasn’t Natanel’s first time on the court at the French Open. After his father won the doubles championship last year, he sprinted out for a much more energetic hug and some dancing.