Paris - A French tennis player who tried to kiss a television reporter against her will during a live broadcast at Roland Garros was banished from the tournament on Tuesday for his "reprehensible behaviour".
Maxime Hamou, 21, grabbed Eurosport journalist Maly Thomas around the neck and shoulders while she interviewed him following his first round defeat on Monday.
"It was frankly unpleasant. If it hadn't been live on air, I would have punched him," Thomas told the French edition of the Huffington Post.
Hamou, the world number 287, was subsequently banned from the Roland Garros site by organisers.
"The tournament directors have decided to cancel the accreditation of Maxime Hamou following his reprehensible behaviour with a journalist on Monday," said a Roland Garros statement.
A Eurosport spokesman told AFP that Hamou's actions were "highly inappropriate".
"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," the spokesman said.
"Maly is a highly respected journalist and we are pleased that a full apology is being offered. We apologise to any viewers who may have been affected."
Hamou had already come under fire for his behaviour during a qualifying match last week when he screamed at an umpire: "Why are you here?"
But it was the incident with Thomas which was causing outrage and on Twitter especially as it prompted laughs and applause from studio guests on the Eurosport programme, "Avantage Leconte".
"He kisses her by force, she tries to get away, he holds her by the neck and everyone... laughs ...#tired," tweeted French politician Cecile Duflot.
French journalist Claude Askolovitch tweeted in French: "In a normal world, Maxime Hamou would be in court for sexual assault".
Hamou later Tuesday made a public apology to Thomas.
"I want to offer my deepest apologies to Maly Thomas if she felt hurt or shocked by my attitude during her interview," he was quoted a saying by L'Equipe daily.
"I just had a wonderful week at Roland Garros, living my most beautiful emotions as a tennis player, and I let my enthusiasm be expressed awkwardly towards Maly who I know and respect. I am at her disposal to apologise to her in person if she so desires."
The incident echoed West Indies cricket legend Chris Gayle's behaviour with a female reporter after a match in Australia in January, 2016.
Gayle opted to ignore questions on the game from Network Ten journalist Mel McLaughlin and instead told her: "Your eyes are beautiful, hopefully we can win this game and then we can have a drink after as well. Don’t blush, baby."
French Open results on Tuesday, the third day of the 2017 tournament at Roland Garros (x denotes seeding):
Andy Murray (GBR x1) bt Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0
Martin Klizan (SVK) bt Laurent Lokoli (FRA) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 4-6, 0-6, 6-4
Nicolas Almagro (ESP) bt Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/1)
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG x29) bt Guido Pella (ARG) 6-2, 6-1, 6-4
John Isner (USA x21) bt Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3
Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) bt Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-0, 6-2, 6-4
Karen Khachanov (RUS) bt Nicolas Jarry (CHI) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-1
Tomas Berdych (CZE x13) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 6-1, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4
Fernando Verdasco (ESP) bt Alexander Zverev (GER x9) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
Hyeon Chung (KOR) bt Sam Querrey (USA x27) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
Denis Istomin (UZB) bt Ernesto Escobedo (USA) 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 6-4
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) bt Radu Albot (MDA) 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3)
Kei Nishikori (JPN x8) bt Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
Stan Wawrinka (SUI x3) bt Jozef Kovalik (SVK) 6-2, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3
Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) bt Carlos Berlocq (ARG) 7-5, 6-3, 6-4
Gael Monfils (FRA x15) bt Dustin Brown (GER) 6-4, 7-5, 6-0
Kyle Edmund (GBR) bt Gastao Elias (POR) 6-3, 6-2, 7-5
Kevin Anderson (RSA) bt Malek Jaziri (TUN) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 7-6 (7/4)
Nick Kyrgios (AUS x18) bt Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3
Elina Svitolina (UKR x5) bt Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 6-4, 6-3
Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) bt Mona Barthel (GER) 6-0, 6-4
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT x17) bt Annika Beck (GER) 6-2, 6-4
Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) bt Risa Ozaki (JPN) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
Petra Martic (CRO) bt Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 6-2, 7-5
Madison Keys (USA x12) bt Ashleigh Barty (AUS) 6-3, 6-2
Sorana Cirstea (ROM) bt Peng Shuai (CHN) 6-3, 6-1
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP x21) bt Maria Sakkari (GRE) 6-4, 6-2
Darya Kasatkina (RUS) bt Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 7-5, 6-4
Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) bt Amandine Hesse (FRA) 6-1, 6-0
Tatjana Malek (GER) bt Duan Ying-Ying (CHN) 6-4, 6-1
Simona Halep (ROM x3) bt Jana Cepelova (SVK) 6-2, 6-3
Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) bt Johanna Konta (GBR x7) 1-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4
Taylor Townsend (USA) bt Miyu Kato (JPN) 6-4, 6-0
Chloe Paquet (FRA) bt Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-2
Caroline Garcia (FRA x28) bt Nao Hibino (JPN) 6-2, 6-2
Barbora Strycova (CZE x20) bt Alison Riske (USA) 6-3, 6-0
Alize Cornet (FRA) bt Timea Babos (HUN) 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2
Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) bt Naomi Osaka (JPN) 6-3, 7-5
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x9) bt Fiona Ferro (FRA) 6-1, 6-1