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French Open: Hamou criticised over attempts to kiss reporter on live TV

French Open: Hamou criticised over attempts to kiss reporter on live TV

Maxime Hamou at the French Open 2017 French Open: Hamou criticised over attempts to kiss reporter on live TV

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AFP

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The incident took place during an interview after Hamou lost to Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas at the French Open

Tennis player Maxime Hamou is facing criticism after trying to kiss a female reporter repeatedly during a live interview at the French Open.

The French player, 21, attempted to kiss journalist Maly Thomas while holding her around her neck and shoulders, despite her efforts to duck away.

It happened after he was knocked out of the first round of the competition.

Hamou has not publicly responded to complaints about his behaviour.

The incident, which took place at Roland Garros on Monday and was broadcast on Eurosport programme Avantage Leconte, has drawn ire on social media, including from French politician Cécile Duflot.

"He kisses her by force, she tries to get away, he holds her by the neck and everyone… laughs #tired," the Green MP wrote on Twitter (in French).

Quoted by the Huffington Post France, Ms Thomas described the player's actions as "frankly unpleasant".

"If I hadn't been live on air, I would have punched him."

Image copyright
Eurosport

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Hamou, centre, bends to kiss Ms Thomas's neck as she leans away

Image copyright
Eurosport

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He repeated the attempt several times during the interview

It is the latest case to provoke allegations of harassment of female sports reporters.

In January 2016, West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle drew a barrage of criticism after he asked a TV reporter for a date in a live interview.

He was later fined $7,200 (£4,900) by his club for "inappropriate conduct".

It is not the first time Hamou, who has a career high singles ranking of 211, has caused controversy at this year's French Open.

He walked out of an interview on Friday after a journalist posed a clumsy question. On Monday he also angrily berated an umpire on court, asking: "Why are you here?"

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