agassi/sampras: the awkwardness continues



Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras continued their awkward war of words at the Hit for Haiti charity event at Indian Wells on Friday. Tennis.com has a transcript version of what went down between the two in an exchange that clearly upset Sampras and saw him (playfully?) bomb a serve at Agassi.

It makes us wonder, though: what is Agassi’s deal? Sampras was playing the exhibition fun role just fine, taking a page out of Novak Djokovic‘s book by imitating Agassi’s pigeon-toed walk. It was Andre, whose book has seen wild success but was outwardly critical of several players, none as much as Sampras, who began the verbal jabs with “I don’t have any money,” referring to Sampras’s supposed poor tipping mentioned in his book.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer stood by helplessly and rather uncomfortably, Rafa saying nothing and just smiling through the whole thing while Federer tried to joke about it – which only seemed to make matters worse.

Comments

  1. It’s funny that Agassi (who is bald) was making fun of Sampras for losing his hair. Sampras didn’t catch on to the humor in that.

    Honestly, I think the original HfH at AO was a better setup, with current players in the tournament coming forward to donate their time for a good cause. As you know, most tennis exos have legends playing, with a “hit and giggle” feel to it, along with the sarcastic banter between players. This mix of current players with legends didn’t seem to work at Indian Wells.

    In the end, it was disappointing that Agassi and Sampras couldn’t get beyond their “baggage” during the match and focus on the reason for being there in the first place.

    On a side note, Sampras and Nadal are not the exo types. Roddick would have been a better fit for that event for sure.

  2. I think Andre might have gone a little too far. He was hilarious but I think he was trying too hard to be funny. I don’t think Pete was justified in “hitting” a missed serve at Andre. However, a little bit later Andre did say to Pete, while he was miked, that it was nothing personal. He should have let it go after Andre apologized but Pete really seemed pissed the whole match. I think there will always be tension between them, especially now. They are two very different people and personalities though.

  3. I agree with Paula that Nadal and Sampras are not the exo types. My pick of choice would have been Novak Djokovic or even Roddick, both well known for their humour and charm (more the former than the later). As for Agassi and Sampras, well, yes, they are too different personalities that don’t mix well. Agassi/Djoko against McEnroe/Federer… that I’d love to see!

  4. Rafterfan says:

    It left me with the feeling that Andre is a mean spirited guy. Just sayin’. Pete didn’t do anything that other guys do in these xo’s. And this coming from someone who always pulled for Andre against Pete.

  5. The whole reference to tipping was so completely out of context so it didn’t work at all–ball rolled downhill from there. Pete could have countered with a lot but I’m glad he didn’t. Very strange and the whole thing so mean spirited and petty. Sad in light of what they were all there doing.

    Agree whole thing was a bit off — of course Rafa was totally cute as always. All in all they raised a lot of money and that was the point.

  6. Poor Roger said during the fracas” Come on, Rafa, do something”… their rivalry is just so great. Both Andre and Pete really took the life out of the event. Pete should NOT have served at Agassi’s head. But, Agassi started the whole thing by mocking Pete for being “all serous, all the time”.
    For what it’s worth, Agassi has lost a fan here. And Pete is less classy, in my book. Fed and Nadal were perfect.

  7. I thought that Sampras took a fun situation to seriously, although I thought it was funny that he hit a serve at Agassi. Sampras is obviously sensitive about his tipping. I wonder how Agassi’s book effects how this kind of back and forth goes.

  8. Andre said in his book “that this shot paid a lot of bills”, in reference to his great tennis prowess. Well now he can, pay a lot of bills with his mouth, from all the buzz his antics has stirred up, I’m sure his book sales will go up and people will want tocome out to watch him and Sampras play again to hopefully see some more drama. This is America, we love a good soap-opera.

  9. Having read Andre’s book and now learning of the childish spat which took place on the court the other night, I’m baffled by the extent of his grudge towards Pete. I can’t think of one time where Pete has said anything negative about Andre and every time Andre fell off the tennis map, Sampras was supportive of his comebacks. All Pete ever did to hurt Andre’s feelings was beat him on the court, like a man. Agassi, who was the lesser player seems to think he can settle the score off the court with passive-aggressive jabs at Pete’s shortcomings. As a huge Agassi fan, I’m greatly disappointed by his petty grudges and continued self-righteousness. Since when does how much or little Sampras tips have any bearing on Andre’s life? Pete earned his money fair and square. How he chooses to spend it is entirely his business. Sampras is generous with his time and was always a good citizen on and off the court.
    I don’t blame Sampras for digging in his heels and firing back, in whatever way he felt most comfortable. All is fair and love and war. Andre took low blows at Pete and he should be man enough to take the heat in return.
    Either way, both are no longer relevant to the game of tennis and need to be kept out of the limelight. Andre clearly needs more therapy while Pete should be allowed to enjoy his privacy and wonderful legacy as the greatest champion of his day.

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