Reporter congratulates Nicolas Mahut on his first round win even though Mahut lost

One of the most important rules a journalist learns early on in his or her career is not to root from the press box. It's a simple rule, and one that people have found out the hard way about over the years, but if there is one more rule, it might be 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 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.

Update: Now with video ...