Nicolas Mahut congratulated for losing at the French Open
Nicolas Mahut congratulated for losing at the French Open

One of the most important rules a journalist learns early on in his or her career is: if you're going to ask a question after a game or match, you should at least know who won.

That didn't happen on Monday at the French Open, when Nicolas Mahut took to the podium.

Mahut, a 32-year-old Frenchman, had just lost a tough four-setter against Mikhail Kukushkin.

The Frenchman was devastated to crash out of his home country's grand slam so early, but the post-match press conference didn't help the situation either, when a reporter started off the English portion of the Q and A with a simple "Congratulations."

The short exchange that followed is amazing, and Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times has the transcript as it went down with Mahut and the reporter.

The whole thing is amazing, but the ending with Mahut simply saying, "Questions in French, please" is as simple a jab as they come and an absolutely perfect thing to do at that moment to move on past that congrats.

Moderator: "Questions in English, please."

Reporter: "Congratulations."

Mahut: "Congratulations? I lost."

Reporter: "You lost? OK. So what happened out there?"

Mahut: "Are you serious? Did you watch the match?"

Reporter: "No, I didn't. I was told that you won. I'm sorry."

Mahut (in French): "Questions in French, please."


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