Maxime Hamou

Tennis player Maxime Hamou has had his French Open accreditation revoked by the organisers after groping and trying to kiss a female reporter during an interview at the tournament.

Hamou seized journalist Maly Thomas around the shoulders mid-interview and started kissing her on the cheek repeatedly.

When she tried to pull away, the 21-year-old player clung on even more, practically getting her in a headlock as he wrapped his arm around her neck to stop her from escaping.

And the French Tennis Federation (FTF) have organised an investigation into the incident and called the player’s actions ‘reprehensible’.

The events unravelled on Monday afternoon at Rolland Garros after Hamou, a wildcard, had been knocked out in the first round of the competition.

He was being interviewed live on Eurosport show Avantage Leconte outside the stadium after a straight sets 3-6 2-6 4-6 defeat to No.22 seed Pablo Cuevas.

Speaking to Huffington Post France afterwards, Ms Thomas said Hamou’s actions were ‘frankly unpleasant’.

She continued: ‘If I had not been live on air, I would have punched him. It does not give a good picture of him, he destroys himself by doing this.’

The incident draws parallels with the inappropriate comments made by cricketer Chris Gayle to female interviewer Melanie McLaughlin during a T20 match in 2016.
He hammered 41 runs off 15 balls for the Melbourne Renegades in their Big Bash clash against the Hobart Hurricanes and asked McLaughlin on a date in the interview that followed.

‘I wanted to come and have an interview with you as well,’ he told her.
‘That’s the reason why I’m here, just to see your eyes for the first time. It’s nice so… hopefully we can win this game and have a drink after. Don’t blush baby.’
Gayle was later fined $7,200 (£4,900) by his club for ‘inappropriate conduct’.