Player Banished From Roland Garros After Trying To Kiss Reporter

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"If it had not been live on air, I would have punched him", Thomas told the French version of Huffington Post, describing the incident as "frankly unpleasant".

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

Hamou's actions have drawn comparisons to those of Australian cricket star Chris Gayle, who openly flirted with Network Ten journalist Mel McLaughlin after a game past year.

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The French federation issued a statement criticizing Hamou's "reprehensible behaviour with a journalist yesterday" and said its disputes commission will investigate the case "for improper conduct".

But many slammed the player on social media, including French politician Cecile Duflot, who tweeted: "He kisses her by force, she tried to get away, he holds her by the neck and everyone... laughs #tired".

After answering a question he kissed her a third time, and pulled her towards him while she tried to peel his hand off her chest.

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French tennis player Maxime Hamou grabs and kisses Eurosport's Maly Thomas during an interview. "Maly is a highly respected journalist and we are pleased that a full apology is being offered", the statement went on to add.

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

'I wanted to come and have an interview with you as well, ' he told her.

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