Thursday 17 August 2017

Maxime Hamou banned from French Open for 'inappropriate behaviour' towards a female TV reporter

Eleanor Crooks

Qualifier Maxime Hamou has had his accreditation for the French Open revoked after inappropriate behaviour towards a female TV reporter.

Hamou was approached by Eurosport's Maly Thomas for a live interview after his 6-3 6-2 6-4 loss to Pablo Cuevas in the first round on Monday.

The 21-year-old, ranked 287, immediately put his arm round Thomas and leaned in to try to kiss her on the cheek. When she tried to pull away, he leaned in again more forcefully.

At the end of the interview, Hamou tried to kiss Thomas for a third time before she pulled his hand away from her chest, with the reporter barely able to hide her anger.

Hamou could face further punishment, with the French Tennis Federation saying in a statement: "Roland-Garros tournament organisers took the decision to revoke Maxime Hamou's accreditation following his inappropriate behaviour towards a female journalist yesterday, Monday, May 29.

"The FFT president has asked the disputes committee to investigate for improper conduct."

Thomas told Huffington Post: "It was frankly unpleasant. If it had not been live, I would have punched him."

Hamou later apologised for his behaviour via French newspaper l'Equipe and offered to meet Thomas to say sorry in person.

He said: "I want to offer my deepest apologies to Maly Thomas if she felt hurt or shocked by my attitude during her interview.

"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."

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