Kournikova harassed by camera crew

A French TV crew was expelled from the Swisscom Challenge yesterday after organisers ruled they had harassed Anna Kournikova. The Women's Tennis Association took away the accreditation of a camera crew from the French television station M6 and had them evicted from the tournament hotel.

A French TV crew was expelled from the Swisscom Challenge yesterday after organisers ruled they had harassed Anna Kournikova. The Women's Tennis Association took away the accreditation of a camera crew from the French television station M6 and had them evicted from the tournament hotel.

"They didn't take no for an answer," explained the WTA vice-president of communications, Chris DeMaria. "They staked her out in the hotel. When a player says no to something they are not required to do, it should be respected."

The WTA said it was the first time it had been forced to take such action to protect the privacy of Kournikova.

Organisers said in a statement that the M6 team had not followed the guidelines of the tournament and had embarrassed Kournikova, her mother and other players at the practice site and in the hotel lobby.

The statement added that the crew of three had been extremely aggressive and gone behind the backs of organisers to gain an unauthorised interview with the Russian.

The M6 crew arrived in Zurich believing an interview had been arranged and when told it was not possible began talking to journalists and other players about Kournikova.

The crew had hoped to speak to the player on Tuesday morning but were ejected from the hotel and told to leave the tournament within an hour.

Kournikova remained in contention for her first WTA Tour title when she eased past Russian compatriot Tatiana Panova, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals yesterday.

She will be joined by another Russian, the qualifier Anastasia Myskina, who battled to a 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 win over the No 8 seeded fellow Russian Elena Dementieva.

In Tokyo, the top seed Gustavo Kuerten swept aside Chile's Nicolas Massu, but the fifth seed, Michael Chang, fell in the second round of the Japan Open yesterday.

Mark Philippoussis of Australia, the third seed, overpowered compatriot Wayne Arthurs 6-2, 7-5 with his serve as Arthurs never presented a serious challenge.

Kuerten, the world No 3, is returning after defeat in the quarter-finals of the Hong Kong Open last week and took a while to find his stride before overwhelming Massu 7-6, 6-0.

Chang was defeated 7-5, 6-4 by Cecil Mamit, a fellow American he had beaten earlier this year in a hard-court tournament in San Jose, California.

Kuerten overpowered Massu with strong forehand winners and a series of aces, conceding only four points on his service in the one-sided second set.

Chang had trouble with his first serve and in contesting the baseline battle. Mamit capitalised on the former French Open champion's second serve and landed a series of impressive winners with his running forehand to take the first set.

On the women's side, the top seed Julie Halard-Decugis was stretched to three sets by home-town favourite Shinobu Asagoe but managed to squeeze past the Japanese player 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

The Australian Open said yesterday it will offer equal prize money for the men's and women's draws next year, joining the US Open as the only grand slams to do so. Players will compete for a tournament record prize pool of $7.5m (£5m), an 11.5 per cent increase on last year's total.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project