After struggling through what seemed like an uphill battle, World No. 215 Shintaro Mochizuki finally had his moment last Tuesday. In a touching scene, Mochizuki was spotted sobbing when he defeated Tomas Martin Etcheverry, who was ranked 31st, at the 2023 ATP Rakuten Open.

Mochizuki competed in a David vs. Goliath match against tennis star Etcheverry of Argentina, who was ranked 184 places higher than him, at Ariake Tennis Forest Park. Despite the odds, the Japanese player held his ground during the match, performing to the standards of his training and overcoming any apprehensions he may have had.

Mochizuki put on a masterful performance in the first set, winning it 6-4 in front of the home crowd. The second set, however, proved to be somewhat more challenging because Etcheverry was also unyielding. The two played a tie break, but ultimately it was Mochizuki who prevailed. After a two-hour battle, Mochizuki emerged victorious with scores of 6-4, 7-6(5).

Then, as he sat down, Mochizuki began to cry and covered his face with a towel as he came to terms with the fact that he had just won his first-ever ATP tour-level match and was thus one step closer to realizing his dream.

The Tennis Letter later shared this incident on X, where it has since received over 133.9k views.

The post read, “Shintaro Mochizuki is in tears as he wins his first ever tour-level match. Currently ranked #215. Just beat the world #31 in front of his home crowd.
A beautiful moment he’ll never forget.”

The victory was not only a testament to Mochizuki’s remarkable talents but also a testament to the power of local support. With this victory, Mochizuki is now guaranteed a place in the Round of 16 of this tournament, where he will face another formidable foe on court, the tenth-ranked player in the world, Taylor Fritz.

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Earlier this year, Mochizuki also won his maiden professional title at the Open Città della Disfida Challenger in Barletta, Italy, when he upset Santiago Rodriguez Taverna.

Fans are now supporting the 20-year-old Japanese player in the hopes that he will have a successful career ahead of him.

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