Paris - A
French tennis player who tried to kiss a television reporter against
her will during a live broadcast at Roland Garros was banished from the
tournament on Tuesday for his "reprehensible behaviour".
Maxime Hamou, 21, grabbed Eurosport journalist Maly Thomas around the
neck and shoulders while she interviewed him following his first round
defeat on Monday.
"It was frankly unpleasant. If it hadn't been live on air, I would
have punched him," Thomas told the French edition of the Huffington
Hamou, the world number 287, was subsequently banned from the Roland Garros site by organisers.
"The tournament directors have decided to cancel the accreditation of
Maxime Hamou following his reprehensible behaviour with a journalist on
Monday," said a Roland Garros statement.
A Eurosport spokesman told AFP that Hamou's actions were "highly inappropriate".
"We sincerely regret the incident that occurred during yesterday
evening’s interview between Maly Thomas and Maxime Hamou. The behaviour
of the interviewee was highly inappropriate and we do not condone such
conduct in any way," the spokesman said.
"Maly is a highly respected journalist and we are pleased that a full
apology is being offered. We apologise to any viewers who may have been
Hamou had already come under fire for his behaviour during a
qualifying match last week when he screamed at an umpire: "Why are you
But it was the incident with Thomas which was causing outrage and on
Twitter especially as it prompted laughs and applause from studio guests
on the Eurosport programme, "Avantage Leconte".
"He kisses her by force, she tries to get away, he holds her by the
neck and everyone... laughs ...#tired," tweeted French politician Cecile
French journalist Claude Askolovitch tweeted in French: "In a normal world, Maxime Hamou would be in court for sexual assault".
Hamou later Tuesday made a public apology to Thomas.
"I want to offer my deepest apologies to Maly Thomas if she felt hurt
or shocked by my attitude during her interview," he was quoted a saying
by L'Equipe daily.
"I just had a wonderful week at Roland Garros, living my most
beautiful emotions as a tennis player, and I let my enthusiasm be
expressed awkwardly towards Maly who I know and respect. I am at her
disposal to apologise to her in person if she so desires."
The incident echoed West Indies cricket legend Chris Gayle's
behaviour with a female reporter after a match in Australia in January,
Gayle opted to ignore questions on the game from Network Ten
journalist Mel McLaughlin and instead told her: "Your eyes are
beautiful, hopefully we can win this game and then we can have a drink
after as well. Don’t blush, baby."
French Open results on Tuesday, the third day of the 2017 tournament at Roland Garros (x denotes seeding):
Andy Murray (GBR x1) bt Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0
Martin Klizan (SVK) bt Laurent Lokoli (FRA) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 4-6, 0-6, 6-4
Nicolas Almagro (ESP) bt Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/1)
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG x29) bt Guido Pella (ARG) 6-2, 6-1, 6-4
John Isner (USA x21) bt Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3
Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) bt Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-0, 6-2, 6-4
Karen Khachanov (RUS) bt Nicolas Jarry (CHI) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-1
Tomas Berdych (CZE x13) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 6-1, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4
Fernando Verdasco (ESP) bt Alexander Zverev (GER x9) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
Hyeon Chung (KOR) bt Sam Querrey (USA x27) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
Denis Istomin (UZB) bt Ernesto Escobedo (USA) 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 6-4
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) bt Radu Albot (MDA) 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3)
Kei Nishikori (JPN x8) bt Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
Stan Wawrinka (SUI x3) bt Jozef Kovalik (SVK) 6-2, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3
Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) bt Carlos Berlocq (ARG) 7-5, 6-3, 6-4
Gael Monfils (FRA x15) bt Dustin Brown (GER) 6-4, 7-5, 6-0
Kyle Edmund (GBR) bt Gastao Elias (POR) 6-3, 6-2, 7-5
Kevin Anderson (RSA) bt Malek Jaziri (TUN) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 7-6 (7/4)
Nick Kyrgios (AUS x18) bt Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3
Elina Svitolina (UKR x5) bt Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 6-4, 6-3
Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) bt Mona Barthel (GER) 6-0, 6-4
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT x17) bt Annika Beck (GER) 6-2, 6-4
Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) bt Risa Ozaki (JPN) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
Petra Martic (CRO) bt Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 6-2, 7-5
Madison Keys (USA x12) bt Ashleigh Barty (AUS) 6-3, 6-2
Sorana Cirstea (ROM) bt Peng Shuai (CHN) 6-3, 6-1
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP x21) bt Maria Sakkari (GRE) 6-4, 6-2
Darya Kasatkina (RUS) bt Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 7-5, 6-4
Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) bt Amandine Hesse (FRA) 6-1, 6-0
Tatjana Malek (GER) bt Duan Ying-Ying (CHN) 6-4, 6-1
Simona Halep (ROM x3) bt Jana Cepelova (SVK) 6-2, 6-3
Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) bt Johanna Konta (GBR x7) 1-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4
Taylor Townsend (USA) bt Miyu Kato (JPN) 6-4, 6-0
Chloe Paquet (FRA) bt Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-2
Caroline Garcia (FRA x28) bt Nao Hibino (JPN) 6-2, 6-2
Barbora Strycova (CZE x20) bt Alison Riske (USA) 6-3, 6-0
Alize Cornet (FRA) bt Timea Babos (HUN) 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2
Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) bt Naomi Osaka (JPN) 6-3, 7-5
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x9) bt Fiona Ferro (FRA) 6-1, 6-1