Rafael Nadal admitted a French tennis player’s attempt to kiss a television reporter against her will during a live broadcast made for “uncomfortable” viewing.
Maxime Hamou, 21, grabbed Eurosport journalist Maly Thomas around the neck and shoulders while she interviewed him following his first-round defeat on Monday.
Thomas described the incident as “frankly unpleasant” and said she “would have punched him” had it not occurred while live on air.
Hamou, the world number 287, was banished from the Roland Garros site as a result by tournament organisers, who slammed his “reprehensible behaviour”.
Nadal was reluctant to comment in depth on Hamou’s actions, but he said: “The only thing that I can say is I watched the video, and it was a little bit uncomfortable for the girl.”
The Spaniard, seeking a 10th French Open title at this year’s event, added it was up to tournament officials in terms of taking disciplinary action.
“I cannot talk much about that. That’s not — something that happened in our sport, but they take a position, so they are free to do what they want.”
Hamou later 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,” Hamou was quoted as saying by L’Equipe daily on Tuesday.