An exchange between Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras during a charity match has captured the attention of the British newspapers and the blogosphere.
The Sun and The Guardian both had headlines touting the verbal volleys the two former tennis champions and rivals took at each other Friday night. Sports blog Deadspin and The Huffington Post also ran stories about it.
Sampras was partnered with Roger Federer and Agassi with Rafael Nadal in a doubles match during the BNP Paribas Open to raise money for earthquake relief in Haiti.
The players were wearing headset microphones so the crowd could hear them talking.
At one point Sampras mimicked Agassi’s pigeon-toed walk. Agassi, in turn, chided Sampras for being stingy. In his book, published late last year, Agassi criticized Sampras for being a poor tipper.
Sampras then served high and hard, forcing Agassi to duck out of the way. The crowd laughed throughout and both retired players wore big smiles.
Neither showed up at the post-match news conference. Nadal said he thought Sampras and Agassi were just trying to have fun with the crowd and he didn’t sense any real hostility.