You're never too old to be a superfan — even though you really should be.

If you think seeing fully grown men strut around sporting events in the full kit of their favourite team is cringe-worthy then this desperation to get close to an athlete will surely make you squirm.

Tennis fans flocked to Roland Garros for the opening day of the French Open but rather than be content to soak up the atmosphere of the newly renovated facility in Paris, one bloke was far too eager to grab a souvenir from the year's second major.

Oscar Otte wasn't even expecting to get on court in the French capital after being beaten in qualifying but he was gifted a spot as a lucky loser and he made it count, defeating Tunisia's Malek Jaziri 6-3 6-1 4-6 6-0 on Sunday. Those in the crowd headed courtside to congratulate the German on his performance and he offered up a token of his appreciation.

Advertisement

As Otte packed up his gear he tossed a towel to a young boy who was hanging over the fence, but his early Christmas present was ripped away by a much older spectator.

The portly gentleman, we'll say, wearing a blue shirt and cap wanted in on the action and tugged the towel right out of the boy's hands. Perhaps he'd been coming to the French Open every year of his life and had always left empty-handed so decided this time to show a killer instinct, even if it meant ruining a child's day.

Either that or he just loves the smell of Otte's sweat.

The kid was clearly upset by old mate's brazen lack of humanity — who wouldn't be? — holding out his arms in both disbelief and hope of another item being lobbed his way when take one didn't go to plan.

According to social media reports, Otte came to the rescue by giving the youngster another towel.

The unsavoury incident was tweeted out by well known tennis account @doublefault28 and Swiss star Belinda Bencic responded with a facepalm emoji. Plenty in the Twittersphere also hit up the replies to let their feelings about the "shameless" act be known.

Otte will have another opportunity to send towels flying into the stands when he takes on Roger Federer in the second round after the 37-year-old breezed past Italian Lorenzo Sonego in straight sets.

Federer, competing at the French Open for the first time after a three-year absence, showed he'd lost none of his touch on clay and was appreciative for the warm support of the large crowd that turned up to watch him on centre court.

Advertisement

"Two breaks in the first set was very important for me and when I was leading 4-0 I could take more risks, be more aggressive," Federer said.

"I know that I can play very well on clay and I am very happy to win in straight sets.

"Thanks to the French crowd for the warm welcome … It's great to play on this court."

Others to advance to the second round were Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas, Croatian giant Marin Cilic and No. 7 seed Kei Nishikori. Grigor Dimitrov and Diego Schwartzman both won five set thrillers while unseeded Aussie teenager Alexei Popyrin progressed with an impressive 3-6 6-3 7-6 (12-10) 6-3 victory over Frenchman Ugo Humbert.

In the women's draw, Sloane Stephens survived a scare to get past Misaki Doi in straight sets by winning a second set tie-break and No. 9 seed Elina Svitolina was too strong for Venus Williams, winning their clash 6-3 6-3.

World No. 19 Garbine Muguruza rebounded after losing the first set against American Taylor Townsend to triumph in three but the biggest shock of the day was three-time grand slam champion Angelique Kerber being knocked out in straight sets by unseeded Russian teenager Anastasia Potapova in straight sets.