Agassi sorry for teasing Sampras

INDIAN WELLS - André Agassi apologised for poking fun at Pete Sampras during a charity match last week.

INDIAN WELLS - André Agassi apologised for poking fun at Pete Sampras during a charity match last week.

Longtime rivals Agassi and Sampras were wearing microphones during the match, and the crowd at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California could hear an exchange that started light-hearted but turned testy.

At one point Sampras mimicked Agassi's pigeon-toed walk, which drew laughs from the crowd.

Then Agassi chided Sampras for being stingy. In his book, Agassi criticised Sampras for being a poor tipper.

Sampras responded with a high, hard serve that forced Agassi, who was partnering Rafael Nadal, to duck. Both Agassi and Sampras were smiling, but neither showed up at the post-match news conference.

"It was out of line," said Agassi.

"It was inappropriate. The night was on fire. We were all having fun. I was trying to be comedic. I only had a split second to make a decision. I went for it and it fell flat. I was trying to get past it, but Pete didn't really let me get past it. He didn't really roll with it. I've texted Pete to ask him if I can apologise in person.

"The joke fell flat and I'm sorry," he added.

A capacity crowd of 16100 filled the stadium for the Hit for Haiti fund-raising exhibition Friday night. The event helped raise $1million (R7,39million) to help relief efforts in the earthquake-ravaged island nation. - Sapa-AP

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