Tennis Player Banned From French Open After Groping Female Reporter

Running for three weeks from May 21, the French Open is one of the most prestigious tournaments in tennis today. Also referred to as Roland Garros (the name of the main stadium where the tournament takes place), it’s one of the four Grand Slam prizes that dominate the tennis season.

This year, there’s bound to be intense competition for the trophy, but one tennis player who won’t be competing in the French Open, both now and in the future, is Maxime Hamou. He was kicked out of the French Open on Tuesday after a scandalous interview with a reporter following his exit, and the tournament have now revoked Hamou’s accreditation to participate in the French Open from now on.

In the first round of the French Open, Maxime Hamou lost in straight sets to the Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas, but his subsequent interview with the French reporter Maly Thomas, who was reporting for Eurosport at the time, was beyond terrible.

Thomas was trying to interview Hamou following his exit, but the 21-year-old insisted on cuddling her, pulling her close and trying to kiss her, and the journalist was visibly uncomfortable with the unwanted attention. Hamou’s actions were roundly criticised on social media, and in a statement, Eurosport condemned Hamou’s conduct.

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. Maly is a highly respected journalist and we are pleased that a full apology is being offered.

This isn’t the first time that a sportsman has been inappropriate to a female reporter; back in 2016, cricketer Chris Gayle asked Melanie McLaughlin on a date in an interview after a T20 game. Gayle came in for immense criticism for his comments then, and I hope that Hamou’s ban will act as a deterrent against similar incidents in the future.

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