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20 Jun 2019 14:54
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Tennis

    Nicolas Mahut's embrace with his son after losing at Roland Garros leaves everyone teary

    Previously known for playing in the longest match in tennis history, French veteran Nicolas Mahut — with the help of his 7-year-old son Natanel — gives fans another reason to remember his name with a charming moment after his third-round loss at the Frenc

    When French tennis player Nicolas Mahut lost in the third round at Roland Garros in what may have been his last singles match at the French Open, the emotions swelled for the tour veteran.

    In the days since, video of his reaction has gone viral as more and more people witness a beautiful public moment between father and son.

    Mahut, 37, has been on tour for nearly 20 years, and his four-set loss to Argentina's Leonardo Mayer — with a chance to play Roger Federer up for grabs — prompted a few tears from the Frenchman.

    Suddenly a small, white-capped figure ran onto the court as the crowd applauded.

    Mahut's seven-year-old son Natanel wanted to console his dad with an embrace after the match on Court Simonne-Mathieu.

    The applause — including from a clearly emotional Mayer — swelled to a roar as father and son left the court, stopping to acknowledge the crowd before disappearing into the tunnel.

    Mayer wiped his eyes with his wristband before finishing packing his bag.

    "I have the comfort of my young boy. A lot of emotions. The tiredness of the match," Mahut said after the match according to Tennis World USA.

    "My body was aching everywhere today. Finally, that match was over, and finally, he comes to comfort me.

    "I tried to contain my tears, and to come out of the court holding my head high.

    "I didn't see that (Mayer tearing up). 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."

    Mahut's relationship with his son has charmed crowds on a number of previous occasions.

    Natanel had already given a big hug to his dad after earlier wins against Marco Cecchinato and Philipp Kohlschreiber.

    This time last year, when Mahut won the French Open men's doubles title with compatriot Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Natanel got involved in celebrations by running onto the clay court at Roland Garros after the final.

    He ran to his dad and leaped into his arms for a joyous hug, then leaned over and planted a kiss on the cheek of Herbert, to the player's surprise.

    Mahut is best known for being part of the longest match in tennis history.

    At Wimbledon in 2010, he reached the main draw via the qualifiers after a three-setter against Alex Bogdanovic that ended 24-22 in the final set.

    In the first round at SW19, he came up against big-serving American John Isner, and the pair produced a marathon match, with Isner winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68.

    The match took an astonishing 183 games and the players were on court for 11 hours and five minutes.

    Mahut has won all four men's doubles grand slam titles with Herbert but the extraordinary match at Wimbledon remains to many the biggest legacy of his career.

    He may not have many more big matches to play before that career ends, but the scene at Roland Garros will also last in people's memories for all the right reasons.

    © 2019 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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