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31st May 2017

Player banned from French Open for kissing and grabbing female reporter

Maxime Hamou has since apologised for his behaviour

Darragh Murphy

Maxime Hamou’s credentials for the French Open have been revoked after he repeatedly attempted to kiss a female reporter on live television.

Hamou had just been defeated by Pablo Cuevas on Monday when he was approached for an interview by Eurosport journalist Maly Thomas.

While speaking to the Frenchman, Thomas was forced to push Hamou away as he tried to kiss her on the head and neck.

The 21-year-old also grabbed the reporter around the shoulder and pulled her closer to his body, an act with which Thomas was clearly uncomfortable.

“The management of the tournament has decided to revoke Maxime Hamou’s accreditation following his reprehensible behaviour with a journalist yesterday,” the French Tennis Federation said in a statement, via the Guardian.

The incident prompted laughter from the in-studio commentators but it was clearly not a pleasant experience for Thomas who claimed that “if I hadn’t been live on air, I would have punched him.”

Hamou has since come out and apologised for his behaviour during an interview with French outlet, l’Equipe.

“I want to offer my deepest apologies to Maly Thomas if she felt hurt or shocked by my attitude during her interview,” Hamou said.

“I just lived a wonderful week here in Roland Garros living my most beautiful emotions as a tennis player, and I let my overflow of enthusiasm express myself awkwardly towards Maly, who I know and sincerely respect.

“Nothing of all that is written was my intention.

“I am at her disposal to apologise to her in person if she so wishes. I learn every day from my mistakes to become a better tennis player and a better person.”